A Gift From The Universe Chapter 3

Chapter Three: Ink And Flowers

Sometimes when it was quiet and they were inactive, Sakura would tug at the ears of her bow. Sasuke would never tell her but he thought they made her look like a rabbit sometimes.

It was kind of cute.

Sasuke was staring at the red bow when Sakura caught him looking at her.

“Ino gave it to me.”

Sasuke blinked in surprise, not sure what she was talking about. Sakura snickered at him making him frown.

She has a dimple…just one…

“I don’t see what’s so funny.” Sasuke hid the lower part of his face into the high collar of his blue shirt. It was the most color his mother had allowed. He caught her muttering something about his cousin Obito being a bad influence and “all the men in this family have bad taste in clothes.”

“You’re just really cute sometimes.” Sakura gave him a cheeky smile and Sasuke was sure his face was red if the heat rising to it was anything to go by.

He scoffed and turned away. Cute. It was a word for kittens and puppies not training partners. Sasuke huffed to himself when he realized that was where his thoughts were straying earlier.

“That was a long enough break.” Sasuke stood up and made to pull their shuriken from the target boards.

Sasuke had set up a training regimen for Sakura when he realized just how far behind she actually was when it came to handling weapons and taijutsu. She was improving but they were so close to graduation that it wasn’t making that much of a difference in regards to her overall scores.

He had wondered for a while now why Sakura didn’t ask Yamanaka Ino for help with training. They were supposed to be friends and although Sakura’s test scores were better than Ino’s, Ino was still a top student when it came to the overall average of the combined categories that they were ranked on. She was a lot better when it came to shinobi skills than Sakura.

But the girls weren’t talking.

Sasuke didn’t normally care about what happened with the girls in his class. There was a divide in his class with the boys and girls and then the girls either annoyed Sasuke or made him skittish with all of their attention. The only girls Sasuke ever noticed were the ones that were around Sakura.

Yamanaka Ino may have been annoyingly clingy and loud, but she was the perfect friend for Sakura. She had really brought Sakura out of her shell and when the two girls were together and giggling, Sakura really glowed from true happiness which was amazing since she was such a gloomy kid when she started at the Academy.

Sasuke had to refrain from scowling every time he was reminded that it was thanks to Ino that Sakura was so open with people now. That she had made it so much easier to get to know Sakura at all.

But the girls weren’t talking.

“So what’s Yamanaka up to?” Sasuke asked as Sakura as they finished up gathering all of the weapons they had lying around.

“Ino?” Sakura’s eyebrows pulled forward in confusion. After a moment her face relaxed into a blank look. “Oh. Not sure but if you asked her I’m sure she would talk to you. You don’t have to ask me about her.”

Sasuke’s eyes widened in horror when he realized what Sakura’s thought process led her to.

Really? She thinks I’m interested in Yamanaka? Never!

“I was just wondering why you guys aren’t talking. That’s all.”

There was a need to be firm with his response, to leave no room for misunderstandings. He didn’t understand why but it bothered him to think that Sakura would misunderstand.

“Oh.” Sakura tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and fingered the edge of her hair ribbon. “I just don’t wanna be her tag along anymore.”

The conversation died down there. Sasuke knew how she felt as he was always in Itachi’s shadow but he didn’t want to bring it up to Sakura. His personal failings and insecurities with being compared to his genius older brother weren’t things he was ready to discuss with anyone beyond his own mother.

“I have to go. My parents need my help in the shop today.”

“Shop?”

It was kind of sad that after spending weeks together, Sasuke didn’t even know what Sakura’s parents did for work. All he knew was that they were civilians and he felt a little guilty for having lost interest after finding out that fact.

“Oh yeah. My parents own a teahouse. It’s more like a café than anything else. You should stop by sometime. Don’t worry, we serve lunch too not just sweets.”

Sakura swung her bags strap onto her shoulder. She was always toting around a bunch of books.

“I’m sure I can find a tea that pairs well with tomatoes,” she teased him before waving goodbye.

“Funny,” Sasuke muttered. Café? He was more accustomed to traditional tea houses because his mother and father were fond of the art of tea ceremony.

As soon as Sakura was gone Sasuke glared at a cluster of trees.

“I know you’re there.”

“Know you don’t!” Shisui snickered in the distance. “Ow! Izumi quit it, I’m delicate.”

“Idiots.” Sasuke shook his head and made his way home.


Sasuke found his family’s puppy sleeping on the engawa with the cats. Shiro was on his back, tongue out, and with no care in the world.

“I don’t think the dog needs a walk, Kaa-san.”

“Yes he does. All he does is sleep and eat. He will get fat.” Mikoto joined Sasuke on the engawa and handed him a leash. “He’s too young to be allowed to roam freely. Don’t take him off of his leash.”

But he likes being free…

“Don’t let him take treats from strangers. He gets enough of them here.”

Sasuke pouted and mumbled to himself about how she was being too strict with Shiro and hooked the puppy to his leash. He had woken up as soon as he heard the word “treats.”

“Come on Shiro.”

Walking Shiro was more of a work out and a lesson in patience than any training Sasuke had ever done. How could a small dog weigh so much? The Shiba Inu puppy would find something interesting and refuse to move from the spot or he would give up walking. His favorite thing to try and munch on were flowers. Sasuke had to avoid people’s gardens just in case Shiro decided to chomp and destroy anyone’s azaleas or tulips.

There’s no way he acts like this for Tou-san..

Shiro stopped in the middle of the path to the training fields and started sniffing around. His head snapped to the right and Sasuke followed his gaze to a familiar blonde head. Yamanaka Ino was jogging off the path, shielding a bouquet of flowers by clutching it to her chest.

“No. Shiro. No.”

Worried that pulling on the leash would hurt the puppy, Sasuke let Shiro run and just chased after him. Sasuke sped up and tuck and rolled to grab Shiro. The two of them ended up rolling into a bush and Shiro whined.

“We’re getting you a harness.”


Ino looked around, pale eyebrows drawn together in confusion. She could have sworn she heard her classmate Uchiha Sasuke and a dog barking. Shrugging it off she continued until she reached a clearing.

Under the shade of an oak tree sat a pale dark haired boy, only a little older than she was. He was always there at around the same time, just drawing away. It’s in that exact same spot that she had found him only a few weeks ago. He had reminded her of how gloomy Sakura had once been and introduced herself to him. He told her she could call him Sai which was a little unsettling in how he said it but she still came back every day to see him.

“Uh, hey Sai-kun.”

Sai looked up and blinked up at her with inky eyes. He nodded in recognition and Ino took it as an invitation to sit down. When she sat down Sai gave her an icy smile.

“We’ve been over this,” Ino huffed. “You don’t need to smile unless you mean it. You don’t have to smile for people to like you.”

“But if I don’t smile━”

“No!” Ino put up a hand to pause him in his talking. “No smiling unless you actually want to smile.”

Sai’s face dropped into a blank look and he nodded. He turned back to his drawing of a hawk.

“I brought these for you so you could draw them.” Ino handed him the bouquet she had made. “I thought it would be a nice change from all of the animals.”

“Thank you,” Sai muttered. The corners of his mouth twitched upward but they fell back just as quick as they had rose. It was the warmest gesture he had made so far.That’s so much better. Ino beamed and watched as Sai’s charcoal danced across the parchment of his sketchbook.

A Gift From The Universe Chapter 2

Chapter Two: Meddlesome Uchihas

Sakura decides that she likes Sasuke’s hands. Unlike her hands that still have the clumsy and chubby look children have, Sasuke’s fingers are slender and have a sort of graceful quality she is sure she will eventually have but for now she’s ten and she has to wait for the baby fat of childhood to melt away.

“Here.”

Sakura looked up from her spot in the middle of the clearing. Sasuke was handing her what looked to be a small carton. He took a seat beside her, their knees brushing slightly against each other as they sat cross legged in front of the target boards.

“Senbei?” Sakura opened the carton box to reveal rice crackers.

“It’s the only thing I can eat that’s even a little bit sweet.”

“This is really good!” Sakura happily munched on the treat.

“They’re from a shop in the Uchiha district.”

“They’re the best I’ve ever had.”

Sasuke smiles softly at her and Sakura feels guilty at the airy feeling in her stomach. She was suppose to be training and becoming a better shinobi, not gushing over Uchiha Sasuke. He was kind enough to go along with her request of helping her train and she didn’t want to seem as though she were trying to take advantage of their time alone.

But at the same time Sakura didn’t want anyone else to get involved. A part of her liked being selfish and taking up Sasuke’s time.

Sakura had always been smitten with Uchiha Sasuke but had never been vocal about it. At one point in her excitement she wanted to share the discovery of her feelings with Ino and her new friends she had made through her but something held her back. Later on she found out that Ino also had feelings for Sasuke when the rumor of him liking long hair had circulated.

Sakura didn’t offer words of support only continued to stick her nose in her books. Coming from a civilian clan she had to work harder than anyone else and nothing was going to stop her from doing just that.

That didn’t stop her from growing out her hair though. She had caught Sasuke staring at it a few times as they trained and she figured she made the right choice.


“You guys need a better hobby.”

Itachi and Shisui both just shrugged and scooted apart as Izumi squeezed in between the both of them and took a seat on the branch of the tree overlooking the training field Sasuke and his pink haired friend happened to be using.

“Any progress today?” Izumi asked as Shisui shushed her and clamped a hand over her mouth. She nudged him with her elbow and glared at him. The older boy just kissed her nose and stuck out his tongue at her.

“He fed her.” Itachi sighed, resting his chin in the palm of his hand. “Which is a step up from criticizing her posture.”

Itachi had become accustomed to his brother pleading with him to train together. Something he usually brushed off with a poke to his forehead and a vague promise of there possibly being a next time. For the past couple of weeks Sasuke was out of the house almost as often as he was and curiosity had gotten the best of him.

Itachi and Shisui had tailed Sasuke after he was dismissed from class and found him training, but not on his own. A small pink haired girl had been with him and after a while the two of them had begun observing the two Academy students whenever they could.

“The little squirt has had so many chances to make a move and he’s completely oblivious.”

“Shi-chan. He’s eleven.” Izumi crossed her arms in front of her chest and just shook her head as he snickered. “The only ‘move’ he should be making is to be nicer to her.”

“Perhaps I should talk to him.”

“Oh, Ita-kun, honey,” Izumi patted Itachi’s arm and smiled sweetly at him, “no.”

“What? I think I would give helpful advice. He obviously likes her.” Itachi nodded to himself. “I should help.”

“No,” Shisui and Izumi said in unison. Itachi’s eyes went wide and he stared back and forth at the two of them, confused at their united front on the matter.

“You’re not exactly…” Izumi looked at Shisui nervously for assistance.

“Smooth. You’ll probably make it worse.”

“How so? I have a boyfriend and a girlfriend.” Itachi pointed at the two of them.

“Oh, babe.” Shisui put a hand on Itachi’s shoulder and gave him a sympathetic smile. “That wasn’t really due to anything you did.”

“Shi-chan and I did all of the work with that Ita-kun.”

“That and those three bottles of sake.”

“I am so insulted right now.” Itachi feigned a hurt look, placing a hand to his chest dramatically.

“Aww.” Izumi clung to his arm and leaned against him. “I’m sorry. Would it make you feel better if Shi-chan bought us dango.”

“Wait━what?”

“Yes. I think that would make me feel better.”

“Are you two ganging up on me?”

“Maybe…”


Something felt off about the way his older brother was smiling at him. Sasuke slowly lined his sandals up alongside the pairs that belonged to his family members and hesitantly made his way into their house.

“So her name is Sakura.”

Sasuke froze and turned slowly around to look at his older brother who was still giving him that odd smile.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“She’s awfully cute.” Itachi continued, ignoring his brother’s obvious discomfort. “Izumi wouldn’t stop gushing about that pretty shade of pink her hair is.”

Sasuke’s ears burned a brilliant shade of red and he began to stammer. He couldn’t believe that it wasn’t just his brother that knew about Sakura’s existence.

“Sasu-chan? Ita-chan?”

The sound of his mother coming down the hall had Sasuke clamming his mouth shut. He glared up at his annoying brother and muttered something incoherently.

“What was that?”

Sasuke’s eyes went wide in panic as his mother turned the corner and came into view.

“I said I have no idea what you’re talking about!”

Sasuke stormed up the steps to the second floor and Itachi just chuckled, amused at his younger brother’s behavior.

“Was Sasuke just yelling at you?” Mikoto looked up the steps and back to Itachi in confusion. Her sons never got into fights.

“I was just teasing him,” Itachi assured his mother. “Nothing to be concerned about.”

“If you say so…” Mikoto narrowed her eyes in suspicion.

Itachi just smiled at his mother until she gave up and returned to preparing dinner.

Itachi was going to have fun teasing his brother but it didn’t mean that he had to tell his secrets to their mother.


“Sakura!”

Sakura winced slightly at the shrill sound of her mother’s voice. She paused in her reading for a moment and when there was no other call of her name continued.

“Haruno Sakura I am talking to you!”

Sighing, Sakura folded the lower corner of the page she was reading and marched downstairs to face her mother. Mebuki standing at the bottom of the stairs with her hands on her hips, tapping her foot impatiently.

“Yes?”

“Care to explain why I tripped over another stack of books?”

You weren’t paying enough attention, duh, Sakura inwardly grumbled. Instead she mumbled out that she forgot to put them away.

“What a bad trait to have passed down from your father. I have enough trouble with his books we’re not starting this up again with yours. Now take them up to your room and put them away. In your bookcase this time.”

Sakura groaned as she hefted up the heavy tomes. Concerned, her mother took half of the stack from her to help her carry the load.

“When did you pick up books on human anatomy? Aren’t these a little advanced for an Academy student?”

“It’s just for some light reading,” Sakura chirped.

“Light? Hate to see what heavy reading looks like,” Kizashi joked as he passed by with a mug full of tea.

“Papa!” Sakura groaned, hands too full to smack her own forehead from the shame.

She grumbled to herself as she dropped her load of books on the floor by her bookcase. Ignoring what her mother said about tidying up, she flopped back on her bed and picked up where she left off on her book on medicinal plants.

A Gift From The Universe Chapter 1

Chapter One: Hair

Pink. There was no way it could be real. Sasuke rubbed his eye with his little fist and his eyes narrowed at the short locks of pink hair. Yes, still pink. He blinked his eyes and grumbled inwardly to himself. If it were genjutsu he wouldn’t be able to break out of it by himself quite yet.

Sasuke continued to watch the small girl with pale pink hair holding hands with her mother. She hid behind her skirt and her head kept turning in all directions as she was attracted to all sorts of sounds of the other kids at the Academy entrance.

At one point she turned and looked in his direction and Sasuke took a sharp inhale of air as he was met with vivid green eyes. The green reminded him of the forests that he ran in when he played with his older brother. Such an intense green he had never seen before.

And then green eyes were no longer looking at him but back to a group of Academy students that were chasing each other in front of the doors to the building.

“Pretty, huh?”

“What?”

Sasuke looked up and saw his mother smiling down at him, a sort of mischievous smile she gave him sometimes when she knew he was hiding something from her and found it amusing that he even attempted.

“Her hair. Such a beautiful color. Doesn’t it remind you of cherry blossoms?” Mikoto asked wistfully, a faraway dreamy expression on her face. “You should talk to her. Tell her that you think her hair is pretty. Maybe you’ll make your first new friend.”

“I don’t think her hair is pretty!” Sasuke blurted out, completely flustered. He puffed his cheeks out in a pout when his mother let out a little tinkle of a laugh at his expense. “It’s true! I like hair just like kaa-san’s.”

Sasuke continued to sulk as he made his way into the building. Every so often he would take a sideways glance out of the corner of his eye to catch a flash of pink.


Sakura. It was completely cliché but it was the type of name he knew his mother would adore. Not that he would tell her the name of the girl with the pink hair. Not unless she asked. Maybe not even then just in case his mother got it in her head that he liked Haruno Sakura.

Gross. Sasuke had better things to do like become a shinobi that could surpass his older brother and to get the acknowledgement he craved from his father.

He tried to tell himself that she was gross, like how all girls are gross, but when Yamanaka Ino becomes her first friend and she smiles more, he starts to get a strange fluttery feeling in his stomach.

I probably ate too many rice balls.

So sure that that was the reason, Sasuke nods to himself and carries on with what he was doing: hiding from Uzumaki Naruto.

His mother and her friend, his Auntie Kushina, had been pregnant around the same time and had hoped their children would be best friends. Sasuke just found him loud and obnoxious.

Sasuke liked Auntie Kushina and didn’t understand when people told her Naruto was just like her. Naruto was only seven and he was already arrogant and at times had an entitled attitude, all because he was the son of the Hokage.

He assumed when Naruto displayed his more friendlier side and was kind that he was tolerable. Almost like his cousin Obito.

Sasuke just hoped he wouldn’t be stuck with Naruto forever.


Every single time she moved, her hair would sway with her. The movement was miniscule but it distracted Sasuke enough for his eyes to wander away from the blackboard and their lessons.

Sasuke was in the middle of watching the way the sunlight coming in through the windows shined on her hair when she turned around, green eyes on him. She looked at him for merely a second when her attention shifted to the person sitting behind him. She smiled widely and waved.

Sasuke grumbled inwardly to himself, chastising himself for the odd way his heart skipped when their eyes met. Of course she was waving at someone else. Her best friend, the Yamanaka girl, had chosen to sit behind him.

Just like how he had chosen to sit behind Sakura Haruno who always sat in a free seat in the front row, ready to absorb all the information she could.

Sitting next to her would have been too obvious. And sitting next to her meant he couldn’t sneak inconspicuous peeks at her. Sasuke could just stare ahead and casually shift his gaze down to see her and the way her hair shined and shifted around her small frame.

Sakura’s hair was longer than when he first saw her the day they entered the Academy. There was a small part of him that hoped it had something to do with the unfounded rumor that he liked long hair. That small hope was stamped out when she replied to gossiping girls that she was only growing it out because “Ino-chan is growing her hair out so why not?”

It didn’t matter how long any of the other girls’ hair was. His eyes were drawn only to pink.


“What is he doing?”

Sasuke didn’t bother to acknowledge that his brother was home, something rare for him.

“I’m not sure,” Mikoto responded. “He came home and just slumped onto the floor. He’s been lying face down ever since.”

“That’s new.”

Sasuke grumbled against the floorboards but made no attempt to move or speak to either his brother or his mother.

Earlier that day when he was finishing up training on his own he found Sakura training in private,  Ino and the other girls nowhere in sight. She was attempting to throw shuriken at a target. Her aim was lousy.

Sakura was a smart girl, always getting top marks in their written tests. Whenever their teacher asked a difficult question she had her hand up first, the second the question left the teacher’s mouth. Usually she would be the only one that knew the answer.

Although she got top marks academically, when it came to field work she suffered. It looked as if she wasn’t even trying at times.

Sasuke noticed that the way she held weapons was off. He only wanted to help. He had wanted to help but instead of being helpful he ended up just shouting at her.

“You’re doing it wrong!” He blurted out.

When Sakura just stared at him with wide green eyes he felt his ears and the back of his neck heat up. They looked at each other for a moment, both of their faces flushed with embarrassment. Unable to take the awkwardness anymore, Sasuke bolted.

As soon as he got home, he fell onto the floor hoping to become one with it. If he was part of the floor he wouldn’t have to go back to school tomorrow.

“Mikoto,” Sasuke heard his father’s gruff voice, “why is Sasuke on the floor?”


Sasuke had his face down on his desk when all of the students were shuffling into the classroom. He hadn’t wanted to come into school but his mother wasn’t fooled by his sick act.

My life is over and I’m only eleven.

Sasuke was trying to become one with his desk when there was a small cough. He tried to will whoever it was that sat next to him away with his mind. He was a desk today, not a person, and refused to take part in any interaction.

A gentle prod on his shoulder forced him to turn his head so he could peer up at the foolish person that was trying to get his attention. At the sight of pink he sat up straighter.

“Good morning.”

“Morning,” Sasuke replied.

Sakura slid into the seat next to him and unpacked her stuff. As soon as her notebook and pencils were set neatly in front of her she crossed her arms on the desk and turned to face Sasuke.

“Y-yesterday,” Sakura cleared her throat and took a deep breath, “yesterday you said that I was ‘doing it wrong’.”

Sasuke’s neck heated up. Did she have to bring that up?

“If I’m doing it wrong I won’t get better. Can you show me the right way? After class, that is.”

What? That wasn’t what Sasuke had expected to happen this morning when he got to class.

He must have been quiet for too long because Sakura’s face became a deeper shade of pink and she tried to take back her request.

“Okay.”

“Okay?” Sakura’s eyes went wide in surprise. “Really?”

“Yeah, I said okay,” Sasuke mumbled, tucking the lower part of his face into his high collared shirt.”

“Oh! Okay.” Sakura beamed and turned to face forward.

It wasn’t until Iruka-sensei started the lesson that it really hit Sasuke that Sakura had decided to sit next to him for the day.

He wasn’t able to sneak glances at her, but there was a pleasant floral scent on his right side.

It seemed that there was another part of Sakura’s hair besides pink that intrigued Sasuke.

Covenant Chapter 2

Chapter Two: Home

By the time Sasuke had come back home, the sakura petals on the ground had withered and curled in on themselves, the edges tinted brown. If it weren’t for the fact that the scattering of petals was an annual occurrence and had seen them in their original color he would never assumed they came from pink flowers.

Sasuke laid back on the engawa and closed his eyes. The breeze rustled his hair gently and played through the chimes that his mother hung around the patio. A harris hawk cooed softly by his head.

His days were quiet, peaceful.

And utterly boring.

When he had first come home his mother had fussed over him and his father did that awkward thing where he looked at him, opened his mouth and then closed it, nodded his head, and then walked away.

There had been a lot of unwanted attention. The elders of the clan were in an uproar about his summoning.

“Something must be wrong within the family for it to happen twice. The younger one replaced the eldest as heir just to get dragged across the realms by a word weaver!”

Word weaver is what they called her. When Sasuke was younger he imagined witches using giant tapestry needles to enchant objects and cast their spells whenever there was a mention of one.

Sasuke had been curious as all kids were and wanted to ask his older brother all of his questions regarding witches but Itachi never had time for him. He was always with his witch and barely popped home for a visit before he was off again.

No one could imagine that the eldest son was so blind in his devotion to his witch that he would forsake his own family. That Itachi wouldn’t be able to recognize the loss of his freedom.

“Pitiful. All of that loyalty only to have his wings ripped off and abandoned, left for dead.”

Sasuke sighed, inhaling the sweet scent from his mother’s garden and the trees. The calming scents of home helped him ease his mind.

“Mother will get angry if she catches you napping outside again.”

Sasuke cracked an eye open. Itachi stood above him, long strands of his hair falling over his shoulder.

“You’re not still feeling lethargic are you? It’s been a few days since your full power has come back.”

Sasuke had assumed that he would feel energetic once his power was returned to him but instead he was thrown off of his axis and the swift increase in power had left him tired because it had been returned all at once.

And it doesn’t help that what I’m feeling isn’t just my own chakra.

Sasuke had fulfilled his part of the covenant by calling Sakura by her name. The surge of power he felt was immense.

This is me, Sasuke focused on sensing his own chakra, and it’s Sakura as well.

Witches didn’t call it chakra. Izumi had explained that the word they used was mana and that now that he was part of a covenant he shared his power with the witch that summoned him but in a properly balanced covenant he would feel his witch’s power as well.

Sakura was unguarded and open with him in their bond even if she didn’t express it to him verbally. She gave as much of herself as what was expected of him. Heat would crawl up his neck to his face when he thought too hard about how easily she trusted him with her energy.

She was leaving herself bare to him.

“I’m fine now. It’s just relaxing here.”

And it was. Although there was influence of the mundane on their realm because of travelers between the two and witches that migrated to live with their familiars in their world, it was a lot more quiet than the buzz of the mundane realm.

Sakura lived in a crowded city with lots of noise and smells and lights. Home for Sasuke was the quiet of the countryside, of the mountainous range where the Uchiha had always lived. The air was crisp and clean and he could soar the skies as he pleased.

But home was missing something.


“You need to stop hiding from mother.”

Sasuke sighed and looked below him from his perch on a tree. Itachi was at the base of the tree smiling up at him in the way he hated. It was like his brother knew what was on his mind.

It wasn’t that Sasuke didn’t want to be around his mother. He usually spent a majority of his time at home with her, but Shisui had let a comment slip when he came back home that had his mother asking him questions about his time in the realm of the mundane that he would prefer not to discuss.

“Everyone was so worried when you were nowhere to be found,” Mikoto rambled on as she gave her son another check. She spread her fingers along his markings, examining for any disturbances or scars.

Sasuke endured it all, knowing it was best to let her have a moment to check his wings than to deal with her moodiness or shrewd comments from his clan’s elders.

“And you missed hanami this year!”

“Oh, I wouldn’t say he did,” Shisui snickered, sneaking one of the snacks that Mikoto had prepared for Sasuke. “Sasuke had his own personal hanami.”

The back of Sasuke’s neck heated up and his ears flushed red. His mother had taken notice of that and she got a strange glint in her eye.

“What does that mean Sasuke?” Mikoto gripped his shoulders to impeded his possible escape. “The region you were in doesn’t celebrate hanami. At least it’s not part of the culture of the mundane in that region.”

Sasuke could kill Shisui for the comments he made. He was always ready to please Sasuke’s mother and answered her questions as best as she could.

“Pink hair. And named Sakura of all things.”

Mikoto’s eyes had widened in wonder and Sasuke was quick to make an escape. He knew his mother would want to know the identity of the witch that summoned him but Sasuke had wanted to keep it a secret for a bit longer.

He wasn’t ashamed of Sakura but he didn’t want his mother to make his time away something it wasn’t and didn’t want her to make any assumptions about his witch being a girl close to him in age.

Magical connection was what he and Sakura had, nothing more. And he wasn’t going to entertain any fantasies of his mother’s by feeding her any more information about the little witch that summoned him.


It was the third cauldron Sakura had blown up and Shizune had forbidden her from entering her workshop if she was planning on continuing to practice spells in such an enclosed area.

“That didn’t used to happen…”

“You have a mana boost from another source,” Kakashi explained from behind one of his books. He was supervising Sakura’s clean up to make sure she did it the mundane way but he wasn’t going to assist her. “You have great control but you’re used to working with only your own power. It’s time to adjust, kiddo.”

He eyed the ash that Sakura dusted up and threw into a bin.

“And it’s safe to assume that the little bocchama has an affinity for fire considering everything keeps bursting into flames if you’re not paying enough attention.” Kakashi stretched his arms above his head and then relaxed back into his armchair. “I hope there won’t be any other surprises.”

“We can check on that!” Sakura chirped excitedly and pulled blank pieces of parchment. She took out a piece of charcoal made from wood of an oak tree and copied down a few random glyphs.

“Are you sure that’s safe?”

“It’s perfectly safe.” Sakura glared at him before turning back to her sheets of paper and chanted a spell from a text on mana.

The sheets of paper levitated and circled around her.

“If you blow something up I wasn’t here.”

Ignoring him Sakura touched the sheet that had the rune for air and watched it dissolve. She moved onto the sheet with the rune for water and nodded to herself when it remained levitating. She had always been able to perform spells with ease for that element as it was her affinity.

“Hell yeah!” Sakura cheered when the sheet of paper with the rune for lightning remained floating. When she had first done the affinity test it was a sheet that had dissolved.

Unsurprisingly the fire parchment had also remained floating. Kakashi’s assumption was correct. What was surprising was the parchment that read “wood” remained floating as well. The first time she did the test the parchment had taken a while to dissolve giving her false hope but now it remained standing.

“Looks like whatever was blocking that affinity has opened up now that you have a familiar.”

Sakura beamed. This was exactly what she had hoped would happen for her as a witch once she completed the summoning ritual. More affinities made spells easier to cast without forming seals or using other resources.

“Remember to finish cleaning up,” Kakashi’s lazy tone shook her out of her excitement. He was slinking away in his cat form, leaving her behind.

He was there in lieu of her teacher, a supervisor, not to revel in her growth. He wasn’t her familiar and sometimes she forgot that what little attention he offered her was all he could muster to care to give.

Sakura kicked at the ground and pouted before sighing and grabbing the broom and dust pan.

I’m sure Papa will be excited.


The rustling of wings had Sasuke closing his eyes and wishing he could vanish into thin air. He was sure Sakura knew a spell that could assist with that.

“I was going to find you eventually you know.”

“Mother.” Sasuke bowed his head slightly as he greeted Mikoto.

Mikoto’s wings folded behind her and she tucked her skirt neatly underneath her as she took a seat by her son on his perch.

“It’s so quiet here.”

“Yes, that’s how it’s always been.”

Sasuke narrowed his eyes at the way his mother smiled at him. There was a knowing gleam in her eyes that he wasn’t fond of. It was the same look Itachi gave him.

“Our mountain has always been a relaxing and peaceful place.” Mikoto tucked a strand of his hair behind his ear. “But it’s a pretty lonely place when all you have around you are animals and old people.”

“You’re not old, mother.”

“I wasn’t speaking about me.”

His mother pinched his ear in reprimand but rubbed the area to soothe it before letting go. She ran her hand down his wings, brushing her fingers down them and picking out loose, stray feathers.

“It’s okay to miss her.”

“I don’t,” Sasuke said more sharply than he intended.

His denial was quick and his face heated up at the lack of reaction from his mother. She just kept smiling at him in the way he was starting to hate more and more.

“I wish you guys would stop looking at me like that.”

“Like what?”

“Like you all know some secret about me,” Sasuke huffed, turning his back to his mother. He rested his head on the trunk of the tree and shut his eyes. No matter how much he tried to will her away with his mind, Mikoto wasn’t going anywhere.

“If it helps, your father seems to be oblivious.”

“When is he not?” Sasuke muttered. There was a smack to the back of his head and he knew he had upset his mother.

“You know he’s preoccupied. He has a clan to lead.”

“I know.”

No one had to remind Sasuke of how busy his father was. Before he was summoned he shadowed his father, learning the responsibilities of a clan head.

A role that was never meant for him but was his future ever since Itachi was stripped of his title of heir.

A role that felt like shackles.

“I didn’t come here to upset you, Sasuke.” Mikoto stroked his hair. “I just wanted to let you know that whatever decision you come to, that it’s okay. We’ll always be your family and we’ll always be home.”

Mikoto sighed and stood up. She spread out her wings, ready to take flight again.

“Even if home just got a little bigger for you.”


“Is it supposed to be like that?”

Sasuke watched as his older brother paused his brush strokes. Itachi looked up and looked outside to the courtyard where Shisui and Izumi were collecting herbs from the garden.

Shisui tucked a daisy behind Izumi’s ear and she giggled. He held up another flower and she nodded her head enthusiastically. Shisui grinned and waved over to Itachi, gesturing for him to join them.

“I don’t know.” Itachi set his brush aside and rose to his feet. “But it’s how I like it.”

Sasuke watched his brother as he joined Shisui and Izumi. Shisui had handed the flower he held previously to Izumi. Itachi bowed his head so that she could reach his ear, and she tucked the jasmine behind it.

When Itachi had been with his original word weaver, he had always looked gaunt and sick to Sasuke. His older brother had always been a quiet person but he was even more withdrawn.

But now when he looked at his brother he was always glowing and although he was still quiet he spoke to him a lot more frequently.

Amongst the tengu to be wingless was shameful, to be as low as the dirt you were forced to always stand on.

But on Itachi, to be wingless looked a lot like freedom.


Sakura woke with a start, dumping her science textbook and scrolls onto the floor. She had fallen asleep sometime in the middle of reading. Whenever she got new books or scrolls she always dove right into them immediately, forgetting everything else around her.

Sasuke was right, she groaned inwardly. I have a problem.

Sakura stretched her arms and legs out, dumping more scrolls on to the floor. She started to kick her duvet and sheets out from under her so she could go back to sleep when there was a soft thump from the room next door.

I swear to God, if Llewelyn is fucking with me again, I’ll stuff him in an unbreakable jar.

Her father’s familiar had a habit of moving furniture around and hiding her belongings in strange places when he got bored.

It would be crossing the line if he decided to mess with Sasuke’s room to prank her.

Even though Sasuke had gone back home, the Haruno family left the extra room where it was. Her parents referred to it as the guest room.

But to Sakura it would always be Sasuke’s room.

Just because all he wanted was to go back home, it doesn’t mean it’s not his room still, she reasoned to herself.

As quietly as possible in order to sneak up on Llewelyn she crept up to the bedroom door and yanked it open.

With one foot on the window sill and the other one ready to step into the bedroom, the winged figure couldn’t have been Llewelyn. And if it was she was going to lock him in a trunk and keep him there for the next year.

“Sasuke?”

He looked just as surprised to see her as she did him but he cleared his throat and in a soft voice called out to her.

“Tadaima.”

Covenant Chapter 1

Chapter One: Um…That’s A Hawk

She had wanted a cat.

Sister Shizune had a charming familiar with sleek gray fur. A relaxed creature that was lackadaisical in all its forms.

But when the lightning and smoke cleared there was a haughty screech and the flapping of wings.

A pissed off hawk cried at her from the center of her summoning circle.

She had wanted a cat.


It had been seven days and the summoned hawk had yet to speak to her. She had to assume it was male due to its size, sure that if it were bigger than it would have been a female like the book on hawks she had bought stated. But she couldn’t be sure until it actually spoke to her and told her how it identified.

But it had been days and the hawk refused to communicate with her.

When she had first summoned the hawk, it had taken flight as soon as all the smoke had cleared and it had become aware of the seal it stood in the center of. She could only gape at the empty space as Shizune tried to rub her back to comfort her.

Kakashi, Shizune’s familiar, had snickered and had only stopped when Tsunade, the eldest of their coven, shot him a glare.

“They will come back to you,” Tsunade informed her. “They are bound by the summon.”

“But they obviously don’t want to be my familiar…”

Sakura shuffled in her boots, her ceremonial robes feeling heavier than when she had first put them on.

Tsunade had said that young witches needed a familiar, that they weren’t pets but companions that protected them as they came into their own and learned the ways of magic.

Tsunade had told her that she had more control of her powers than what was usual for young witches, but that it was safer to go through all of the proper rituals. A familiar would help assist her as she honed her magical gifts as she matured as a witch.

But the summoning ritual didn’t go well.

She refused to accept that the summoned creature picking at its feathers by her open bedroom window was her match.

The hawk caught her staring at it and turned its beak up at her, shuffling on its perch so that its back was to her.

Do what you will, so long as it harms none. Do what you will, so long as it harms none…

Sakura chanted the Rede in her head and tried to focus on her studies. She knew she drew her circle perfectly and Tsunade had examined the sigils for any flaws but there was no way the haughty creature before her was what her energy had called to across all of the realms.

“You’re going to need to talk to me eventually you know,” Sakura huffed, flipping through the pages of her tome before slamming it shut. “You won’t be getting your true form back until we complete the covenant. At least that’s what the High Priestess said.”

The hawk continued to look outside the window. Sakura rolled her eyes and grabbed another tome.

“You’re not trapped in here. You can go whenever you want.”

The hawk finally turned its head towards her. It cocked its head to the side.

“I mean, yeah, you have to come back because our lives are each others technically.”

The hawk turned its head away with a scoff, the first sound it made since it was forced back to her.

“But we’re both dealing with only half of our magic until we complete the covenant. So if you would like to have all of your power back━whatever power you have━I suggest you get talking.”

The hawk gave her another look before spreading its wings and taking flight.

Sakura grabbed one of the throw pillows from her bed and screamed into it.


Sakura stared blankly at the trains going by. After school she would usually head over to lessons but without access to half of her magic she wasn’t allowed to strain herself with incantations.

She loved helping out Shizune but she was getting tired of only being able to brew potions.

Sakura whipped out her guide on magical remedies to common illnesses and began studying. Magic or no magic she still needed to prepare for her practical exam. Even with only half of her magic she was sure she had enough control to pass her next exam.

The sound of a bell went off signaling the arrival of a train on her platform. Without looking up from her book she got up from her bench and walked slowly over to the train.

“That’s a sure way to get us both killed,” a husky voice called out from behind her as something tugged on the back off her wool cardigan.

Sakura spun around and looked up to be met with classic Japanese features. Her jaw dropped as the beautiful face before her contorted itself into a scowl.

“Is staring all you do? Are you sure you’re a witch? You act like a mundane with all of your staring.”

“You do know it’s not every day that someone wears a kimono in the middle of a subway platform.”

Sakura eyed the dark blue kimono with the pattern of silver feathers etched into the fabric. The outfit was eye catching yet the man━no teenage boy for he couldn’t be that much older than her━stood there confident, completely indifferent to any attention he could be attracting.

“Wait! Did you say witch?”

Out in the realm of the mundane, a stranger shouldn’t have been able to recognize her as a witch.

“Isn’t that what you are? A mundane wouldn’t have been able to summon any sort of familiar, let alone an Uchiha.”

Sakura’s eyes roamed the boy before her, mouth still parted in shock. This was the hawk that she had summoned!?

“Which one of these things do we need to board to get back to your place?”

“So you do know English?” Sakura narrowed her eyes at him. “I was trying to use every language I knew, waiting for you to respond to me and you didn’t say anything.

The boy ignored her and looked at the board for arrival times. He headed toward the train that was approaching and Sakura followed him hesitantly. She wasn’t quite sure what to make of this boy.

“I also know Mandarin and understood all of the colorful words you called me.”


Sasuke was in no rush to have all of his power returned to him.

Sakura peeked over the top of her book on rune translations and watched him pour over her books while lying flat on his back on the ground.

Kakashi had loaned him some sweats and muscle tanks that had Sakura’s face heating up as she buried her nose back into her books.

She didn’t expect for her familiar to be as attractive as he was in his human form. Her only experience with familiars were Tsunade’s familiar Katsuyu that only had a slug form though it varied in sizes and Shizune’s familiar Kakashi who she could consider good looking but he was almost two decades older than she was and not her type in the slightest.

She found herself wishing that Sasuke would go back to using his hawk form.

From what Sasuke had told her he was almost an entire year older than she was and was in the middle of preparing for an event that was important to his family when he was kidnapped.

“I didn’t kidnap you!”

“Right. You summoned me.”

He spoke to her very little, only asking for more tomes to pour over as he looked for whatever information he was searching for and interrupting her whenever he couldn’t find anything in her fridge that suited his tastes or skill level in cooking.

“Ah.”

Sakura jumped not having expected Sasuke to say anything or make a sound.

“I found nothing. Your human texts are too limited. As soon as my family receives my message we can figure out how to correct this problem.”

“Problem? We just need to proceed with making the covenant and everything will be fixed and we’ll have our power back.”

Sasuke sat up and stared at her impassively. The longer he stared at her the more uncomfortable she felt.

“I will never be some witch’s pet.”


All Sasuke had wanted was silence but now that the witch wasn’t talking anymore he felt mild irritation at the fact.

She went about her day ignoring him, refusing to acknowledge his presence. She had become cold towards him ever since he told her that he refused to become her familiar.

It didn’t matter to him how she behaved as long as she stayed away from him. He wanted nothing to do with cunning witches, especially if their power level was high enough to summon a member of the Uchiha clan as their familiar.

Members of the Uchiha clan becoming familiars was an anomaly. It was rare for a witch to be equals with an Uchiha and for one to be summoned was extremely uncommon.

It had happened two times before him in his lifetime━before that it had been half a century━and the instances of someone being summoned were that of one of his distant cousins, Shisui, by a witch who just so happened to also carry their blood in her veins and then his older brother who was so strong that he was summoned when he was but a child by a warlock many years his senior.

At the time it had been an honor.

Now it was the reason why Sasuke watched the little witch with distrustful eyes.

Itachi was now happy in a covenant with Shisui and their witch Izumi but it didn’t change the fact that he was damaged and an eyesore to most of the Uchiha.

Sasuke was sure most wished that Itachi had died when his warlock betrayed him and sullied their covenant.

He could just imagine the shame in his father’s face to discover that his second son had also been summoned and right in the middle of hanami.

“She’s not going to bite you,” Kakashi, the cat familiar of the dark haired witch, told him from behind an orange covered novel. “Unless you’re into that thing. She might if you ask nicely.”

“What?” Sasuke’s eyebrows furrowed, not sure why he would ever want the little witch to bite him.

“Oh boy. You’re one of those sheltered tengu from one of those noble houses, huh?”

Sasuke remained silent. Beyond his first name he hadn’t shared much information about himself with the witches or their familiars. They didn’t know his family name so they couldn’t trace him back to the Uchiha.

There was no need to give them any more reason to hold him hostage.

“How long have you been with your witch?”

“Since I was sixteen. Witches call to their familiars when they turn of age. You met your witch on her seventeenth birthday.”

“She’s not my witch,” Sasuke grumbled.

He eyed the little witch as she sorted through ingredients. Her long, bright rose gold locks were pulled away from her face as she set to work. She worked her bottom lip between her teeth as she concentrated.

“Technically she is. You gave her your name.”

“What.”

“You really don’t know anything about witches and covenants, do you?”

Kakashi sighed and pulled out a tome from a shelf behind him.

“You were so busy trying to find a way back home you never bothered to look at the texts that detailed the relationship between witches and their familiars.”

Kakashi stretched his limbs and began to shift into his cat form. He yawned, popping his jaw.

“You ever wonder why she hasn’t given you her name yet? It’s because she refuses to enter the covenant without your consent. Read you sheltered bocchama.”


She was annoying.

The little witch had a bad habit of staying up late to study. Sasuke would find her cuddling with a tome and surrounded by scrolls.

“Mess,” Sasuke mumbled and collected the scrolls and put them where they belonged in her room. As carefully as he could he pried the tome from her arms and set it down on her desk.

He caught himself in the middle of pulling up her quilt and ran a hand down his face.

This isn’t happening.

Sasuke went back to the futon couch on the other side of the room and turned his back on the little witch. He pulled up the blanket she had provided and willed himself to sleep.


It was another few days before the little witch spoke to him directly again.

“You’re going to need to stay with Shizune and Kakashi starting tomorrow.”

She rocked back and forth on her heels and pulled at a lock of her hair.

“You’re kicking me out?”

“I’m not kicking you out!”

Her cheeks flushed red and she opened her mouth to shout again but seemed to decide against it when her mouth closed again. She closed her eyes and drew a deep breath before speaking again.

“My parents are coming back from their trip to China tomorrow night and you can’t be here. It would have been different if you were my familiar but for now you’re just a random boy. I don’t want my mom thinking I was shacking up with you while they were away.”

And that was how he ended up at the home Shizune and her familiar shared with the High Priestess Tsunade.

It irritated him that the High Priestess had been called to fulfill her duties in the coven led by her husband when he needed her assistance to break from the chains of the summon.

“Were you fighting with stray cats again?”

Sasuke stopped right in front of the doorway of the kitchen. He was trying to avoid any run ins with the witch and Kakashi. He didn’t want anyone trying to convince him to accept the covenant.

“Hold still while I disinfect it.”

“Why don’t you just lick it better? And lick other things while you’re at it…”

Sasuke fled as quickly as he could.


Sakura was in the middle of changing into her sleepwear when her window was yanked open.

“Do you mind!?”

Sakura flung her discarded shirt at Sasuke’s face and she yanked down the baggy shirt she was putting on. She just hoped he hadn’t seen anything while breaking in.

The red tint to his ears wasn’t promising.

“You didn’t tell me that Kakashi and his witch were involved.”

“She has a name you know,” Sakura muttered. “You call that moron by his name but you won’t even offer the same respect to Shizune.”

“You didn’t tell me Kakashi and Shizune-san were involved.”

“I thought they would hold back while you were around. Those two…I swear it’s like they’re always in heat.”

“Do witches always take advantage of their familiars?”

“Will you quit making us sound so evil!” Sakura huffed, marching right up to him. “I’ll have you know that they have a very balanced partnership. What they choose to do as two consenting adults is none of our business.”

Sakura crossed her arms in front of her chest and drew inward on herself.

“Not all witches and familiars have relationships like that. Lady Tsunade’s familiar is very motherly with her. Kakashi and Shizune are the kind that don’t like relationships but still have needs they like to attend to and they trust each other. My dad and his familiar…they’re like brothers.”

“Your father has a familiar?”

“Yeah you’ll see him as a mouse sometimes but don’t let that fool you. He just can’t go around parading as whatever. He’s a púca. You would think it were quite fitting if you ever met my father.”

“So your father is a warlock?”

“Uh, yeah? How else did you think I ended up being a witch?”

From the look on his face it was apparent that he hadn’t thought of her at all. That shouldn’t have hurt as much as it did considering the fact that she knew he didn’t want to enter a covenant with her but it did.

“You can sleep here tonight but don’t let my parents see you.”


He shouldn’t have been shocked by the puce colored hair. Sasuke knew the little witch’s hair was naturally the shade it was because of the pale pink of her lashes, so genetically they had to have come from somewhere but he wasn’t completely ready for the puce colored spikes that belonged to who he could only assume was her father.

“A tengu!” The man cheered, pounding a fist into his hand at his discovery. “Your markings are amazing.”

Sasuke stood there frozen as the man rubbed his shoulder blades where the markings of his wings began. In his human form they were nothing but an imprint on his back.

“What’s with all of the racket?”

The little witch came out of her room rubbing her eye with the heel of her palm. Sasuke cursed her decision to sleep pantsless as he felt her father’s strong hand on his bare back.

“Good morning Sa━!”

“No!” The little witch shrieked waving her hands in front of her, signaling to her father to stop. “You can’t tell him my name.”

“Okay, my blossom.” Kizashi frowned. “What’s going on? It’s been two weeks since your birthday.”

Blossom?

Sasuke looked over at the stammering witch. She was explaining everything that had happened so he blocked out her words, not interested in reliving the past two weeks through her story. Instead his eyes roamed over the strands of her hair.

Her hair was a pale pink, like a certain flower that his family celebrated around this time of the year.

Remembering that he was kidnapped during such an important holiday, Sasuke turned and walked away from the witch and her warlock father.


Her father insisted on giving Sasuke some privacy.

“Tengu are very traditional. I’m surprised he didn’t kick you out of your own room,” he had joked.

Sakura and Sasuke watched as her father drew a door on the wall and a seal on it. Sakura had her notebook out taking notes on everything her father was doing.

“An expansion spell isn’t that difficult for me on my own but it does need to be modified so that it’s hidden from the outside. Can’t have mundanes wondering when we built an addition,” he explained as he adjusted the sigils. “It will also help Sasuke come and go as he pleases if no one can see where he’s coming from. And it’s for that exact reason I’m going to need Llewelyn’s help.”

A black furred mouse scampered off of Kizashi’s shoulder and down his leg. It shifted into the form of a young dark haired boy although the snout, ears, and tail of a mouse remained.

“Ready when you are,” Llewelyn squeaked.

Kizashi bit his thumb hard enough until it drew blood and Llewelyn mirrored his actions. They placed a drop of their blood in the center of the seal and the chalk drawing door glowed.

Kizashi muttered an incantation and within seconds the wall stopped glowing and where the chalk drawing had been previously now stood a door that looked exactly like the rest in the house.

“Usually this would take a lot more out of me and would be difficult to do for one witch or warlock but with the assistance of a shapeshifter like a púca these kinds of spells are a lot easier to pull off.”

Llewelyn placed his hands on his hips and looked proud of himself.

“Does it have to be a shapeshifter familiar for these kinds of spells?” Sakura questioned.

Sasuke snorted and she shot him a quick glare. He had mentioned her habit of overworking herself but she ignored him. She wanted to learn.

“Any familiar can assist with these just fine but due to Llewelyn being a púca it makes it so my control doesn’t have to be as perfect as another witch’s would have to be.”

“It’s the lazy man’s way out,” Llewelyn joked as he shifted back into his mouse form.

“I would say to just ask Blossom here to help you modify anything but in her state she might damage the illusion keeping the room hidden.”

“I’m not that hopeless!” Sakura scowled, crossing her arms in front of her chest.

“Yes but let’s not risk it until Lady Tsunade gets back and figures out how to cut the summon.”

“You don’t know anything about it?”

Sakura would have been annoyed with Sasuke’s questioning if it weren’t for the fact he seemed genuinely curious.

“Hmm,” Kizashi hummed, brows drawn down in a frown, “there’s only one way I’ve ever known and I would rather avoid it.”

“What is it?”

“Death.”


Sasuke stared out of his new bedroom window, feeling more frustrated than he had earlier.

Whenever he was in that sort of mood he would soar through the sky and relax as the wind rustled his hair and feathers.

But he wasn’t able to turn to his true form and he knew shifting to a hawk wouldn’t give him the same feeling.

He had suspected that death would be the only way out of his predicament but the thought of ending the little witch’s life in exchange for his freedom was distasteful.

As much as he hated the idea of being tied to her forever because of a magical chaining of their souls, he hated the idea of sacrificing someone that was still technically an innocent.

It wasn’t until after that thought settled that he remembered that he would be risking his own life if she died.

“Dad wanted to make your room look more like home for you but mom freaked out because it’s troublesome to clean tatami.”

The little witch walked in with sheets for the bed Kizashi had transfigured from a bundle of twigs that he had found in the yard.

“This is fine.”

There was nothing wrong with the western style room. He actually had a western style bedroom back home and it was quite comfortable, especially now that he was on a real bed.

But those were little things about him that he wasn’t willing to share. He didn’t want to know the little witch or for her to know him.

At least that’s what he kept telling herself.

“Can’t you just summon another familiar?” Sasuke asked her before she could leave. “Wouldn’t that cancel out the summoning with me?”

“Uh, no.”

The little witch averted her gaze and made herself busy fitting the sheets on his matress.

“Is it because you don’t have access to the rest of your magic?”

“I know Kakashi gave you a book on summoning and familiars. Do you have to ask me these questions?”

Sasuke was thrown off by her new demeanor. She had ignored him before but now she was actually putting up a guard.

“I want to hear it from you. Why didn’t you have your High Priestess assist you in getting a new familiar? I don’t mean to sound arrogant but you would have to be a particularly strong witch to have summoned me. You could have any familiar you wanted probably.”

The little witch stood up and kept her gaze averted. Her cheeks had flushed to a delicate shade of red.

“It’s not a choice. I didn’t choose you.” she wrung her hands in front of her. “We were supposed to be meant for each other. You were supposed to━”

She cut herself off and took a deep breath.

“It’s not important.”

“Apparently it is if you’re reacting like this.”

Sasuke moved from the bench by the window and approached her.

“It bothers you that I don’t want to be your summon. Specifically that it’s me.”

“Wouldn’t you see it as a rejection?” The little witch narrowed her eyes at him. They glistened with unshed tears. It had only been two weeks but he knew how emotional she got.

A person that cries when frustrated. What an annoying new experience.

“I thought I was prepared for a familiar to find me unworthy of them. Reality hurts a lot more.”

That explanation wasn’t expected. Sasuke had assumed all witches were arrogant, that they had to be to summon creatures to submit to them.

“I’m a half-breed. I thought I would get a low tier familiar because of that. I didn’t expect you to show up. I didn’t kidnap you. I just wanted a partner and to finally feel like I was a real witch.”

That was something Sasuke could understand now that she let her feelings on the matter known.

He was a tengu but he was unlike the other tengu in his clan. They all took the form of crows excluding his mother. They both took the form of hawks and for that fact alone there were members of his clan that were wary of them.

“You are a real witch.”

The little witch’s eyes went wide and he turned his face away in embarrassment.

“You summoned me. You would have to be a real witch.”


Sasuke stared at the tome sitting on his bed and frowned.

He still hadn’t opened the book that Kakashi had loaned him. He was avoiding everything that had to do with witches and familiars and hadn’t considered opening the text even if it gave him the chance to find information on breaking a summon.

He sighed and laid back on the bed bringing the tome up with him.

It wouldn’t hurt to do some light reading.


Sasuke let out a yawn and immediately sobered up. His mother would have smacked him on his head with her uchiwa if she saw him yawning at the breakfast table.

He had stayed up the night before reading and he felt a little awkward because it was a habit of the little witch’s and there was a section about familiars and witches adopting quirks from each other.

“Here you go, Llewelyn.”

Mebuki, the mundane mother of the little witch, offered the púca pumpkin and cream cheese pancakes. The little familiar was fond of sweet foods and sometimes she would treat him but often she would scold him and force him to eat all of the healthier food she made.

“Here you go, Sasuke,” Mebuki placed a plate with egg and cheese stuffed tomatoes.

Sasuke put his hands together and said his thanks for the meal. It wasn’t something he would usually eat for breakfast but he appreciated the fact that it had been made with him in mind after it was discovered that he favored the fruit.

He was sure it was the little witch that had informed her mother. She was the one that had to pick up a bushel of them when they were alone in the house.

“Yinghuā?” Mebuki called to her daughter who was rushing around the kitchen table collecting her things for school. “Aren’t you going to eat?”

“I’m running late. I forgot that I had to stop by my math teacher’s classroom before class started.”

Sasuke reached out and grabbed the sleeve of her cardigan hoodie. The little witch’s eyebrows rose up in shock but she accepted the yellow and red apple that he placed in her hand.

She tended to skip meals when she was busy but she always grabbed an apple.


Sasuke pulled on his new pair of jeans and the pullover that Mebuki had picked up for him. She also purchased a fare card so that he could travel around in the mundane way.

“There you go. Just an average teenage boy.” She pinched his cheek gently and chuckled. “Well not actually average. Far too pretty to say you’re average.”

Heat rose up Sasuke’s neck and he turned away. He heard Mebuki giggle and continue to tease him as she went back to tending to her chores.

Minus the wrinkles around her eyes, the jade of them lit up the same way his little witch’s eyes did when she was finally able to translate her runes properly.


“Message for you.”

Kakashi dropped the scroll from his mouth and curled up on one of Sasuke’s pillows. Sasuke swatted at him until he moved to the edge of the bed and then unrolled the scroll.

“Shisui and Izumi are coming to visit.”

“Your family?”

Sasuke thought about the role they had in his older brother Itachi’s life and nodded.

They saved his life. They would always be family.


Sasuke was in the middle of meditation when there was a soft knock on his door. He waited a moment to see if the person was insistent on needing his attention before granting them permission to enter.

“Come in,” he called out after the second knock.

The little witch poked her head in and averted her gaze. She hesitantly came all the way inside, hiding something behind her back.

Sasuke raised a brow at her expectantly and she pulled her arms from behind her back.

“Do you know arithmancy? I don’t think I’m reading this chart correctly.”

“Yes. it’s a subject my mother thought important to teach me.”

“Really?” she squealed in excitement. “Are you good at it? I’m pretty good at memorization but sometimes I screw up with runes because I’m not very good at reading traditional glyphs.”

“Aa.”

Sasuke took her charts from her hand and got to reading them. The witch sat on his bed, close enough to press her shoulder against his.

He explained to her where she had messed up in her charts and redrew them for her. He made sure to keep everything as simple as possible so that she would understand.

Funny.

He never expected a random skill his mother told him could be useful one day to actually serve a purpose in his life.


Levitation was something she could do without any focus. She had been doing it ever since she was a toddler without the need for any incantations or potions.

“You don’t need to float when you meditate.”

“I don’t but it’s just something that comes naturally to me. It kind of helps.”

Sasuke sighed out his nose and closed his eyes. Sakura smiled softly at his serene expression. It was nice to be able to be close enough to see it.

Sakura held back from giggling when she came to a realization that she couldn’t come to before when things were tense between them.

She had always wanted to have the ability to fly and her summoned familiar happened to have wings.


“You’re a disaster.”

The little witch scowled at him from her position in his arms. He smirked down at her as she rambled off about how his help wasn’t needed but that she appreciated it anyway.

She was busy levitating some vials from the shelves to speed up her tasks of organizing all of the ingredients and reshelving all of the scrolls that she hadn’t noticed that she herself was levitating in the direction of a bubbling cauldron.

“You’re doing too much at once,” he reprimanded her. “I’ll take care of the scrolls.”

“Thank you.”

Sasuke was just about done with putting away the scrolls in the proper order when Kakashi in his cat form slinked over from his place amongst the cushions in the corner of Shizune’s workspace.

“Having fun?”

“Who has fun doing chores?”

“Familiars that enjoy being helpful to their witches.”

Sasuke almost dropped the remaining scrolls in his arms at the statement.

“That’s not what this is.”

“Oh? Alright then. Boys that like helping out cute girls.”

“It’s not that either!” Sasuke denied, his neck warming up.

Sasuke plucked Kakashi up by the scruff of his neck and tossed him out the second story window.


He was getting too comfortable.

Izumi and Shisui were expected to arrive in a few days and with their arrival they would have an answer to his question of how to break a familiar summoning.

He hoped they would have the answer considering they were able to form a new covenant with a second familiar. It was a rare occurrence but it was done to save his dying older brother.

They weren’t there when Itachi’s covenant was broken but it felt insensitive to ask his brother about it.

Even in the text that he had borrowed from Kakashi there was nothing about breaking a covenant. The only mention was that the breaking of a covenant by either party was a vile act.

Sasuke could only think about how his brother was a wingless tengu and wonder what it was exactly that the warlock that summoned Itachi had done.

The more time he spent with the little witch he couldn’t imagine her doing anything that cruel.

She was sweet and at times even her temper was amusing. She was kind to him even when he was standoffish.

He didn’t mind when she invaded his space and spoke to him.

Sasuke was starting to enjoy his time in the mundane realm with her and her family.

He was getting comfortable.

But it was getting hard to think of that as a bad thing.


Sakura was happy for him, she really was.

If it had been the other way around she would have been ecstatic if her family visited her.

But it wasn’t just a visit. They were here to take him back home.

Izumi was able to harness a lot of power to create a portal between the mundane realm and the one they called home. Tengu had immense power and the connection she shared with her familiar Shisui was a strong one.

She had never seen such a large spell done before, especially not one performed by a single witch.

It was still weird that it was all happening in the middle of Tsunade’s living room, especially since she still wasn’t back home.

“It’s not just Shisui and I. Itachi isn’t here with us physically but we can still feel our connection to him,” Izumi explained. “The stronger the bond, the bigger the magic.”

“So the summon should break when Sasuke returns home?”

“It should.” Shisui smiled gently at her. “It works like you’re returning him by letting him go. He should be able to stay there as long as you don’t attempt to summon a familiar again. Then he’ll just end up back here. So unfortunately you will just have to go without one.”

“So this is technically goodbye then,” she muttered. She turned sad eyes to Sasuke who stood in front of her impassively.

Sakura was starting to get use to seeing him around.

It was odd how close she felt to him when he had never even uttered her name the entire time he stayed with her and her family.

And now he was leaving without knowing it.

Sakura cleared her throat and strengthened her resolve. She wasn’t going to be crying the last time she saw him.

“I wish you luck with everything.”

Sakura stuck out her hand, offering it to him to take. He raised a brow at her and she swore she saw the corners of his lips twitch upwards.

“I’ll see you soon.”

Sakura’s eyes went wide when he smiled softly at her and used his pointer and middle finger to poke her in the center of her forehead. It was such a random gesture that she couldn’t help the heat rising to her cheeks. She wasn’t prepared for it at all.

See me…soon?

Nor was she prepared for what he said next.

“Sakura.”

Differential Chapter 8

Chapter Eight: Greedy

A conversation should have been had. Sasuke expected a conversation.

There wasn’t any time for conversation. As soon as Sakura’s chest stopped rapidly rising and falling she was slipping back into her clothes.

She clumsily pulled up her thigh highs, almost falling on her face in the process, and tossed his clothes at him.

“Get changed! They’re going to expect us to wish them a happy new year!”

It was just like her to go from bashful and flustered lover to bossy childhood friend in just seconds.

First needing to dispose of the condom, he changed at a much more relaxed pace before following her down stairs.

She had her back to him talking to a suspiciously sober looking Izumi.

“Why aren’t you drinking?” He heard Sakura ask Izumi. “It’s not like you need to DD, that’s Itachi’s job usually.”

“Weren’t you wearing a hair clip?” Izumi countered. She had eyed him over Sakura’s head but snapped her attention to a giggling Sakura who was trying to explain that it must have slipped without her noticing.

Besides that conversation it seemed no one had missed them that night. That wasn’t unusual but it seemed like everything had gone a little too well in keeping it secret.

Which was why they had to be more careful.

Talking about what had happened never came about but there was a silent agreement that what had happened was to remain between the two of them.

“Are you really trying to answer that right now?”

He panted by her ear, one hand moving from her hip to slide Sakura’s cell phone away from her.

“That’s the third,” Sakura whimpered as Sasuke’s hand slipped back between her thighs, “call. He’s probably driving…over right now.”

Sasuke groaned, pressing his face into the crook of her neck. The missed calls were a sure sign that their idiot best friend was going to burst into one of their rooms soon looking for them.

He pulled back and his cock slipped out of Sakura. She whined but then gasped when he flipped her over onto her back, thrusting back inside her tight, wet heat in one movement.

“We have time,” Sasuke groaned as Sakura tightened around him, “he won’t check the treehouse first.”

Sasuke hoisted her up so that she straddled his lap. He held her tightly to him by gripping her hips and thrust upwards at an unrelenting pace.

Sakura twisted her fists in Sasuke’s sweater and muffled her cries into his neck.

Shit!” She cursed into his ear. She came just a few seconds before Sasuke. He released his grip on her hips and rubbed her back soothingly.

“See? Enough time.”

Sakura glared up at him and he couldn’t help but kiss her. She grumbled, displeased, but melted into his kisses when he cupped her face and rubbed her jawline with his thumb.

Laying her back down on the mattress, Sasuke stroked the back of her thighs making her sigh. They laid there sharing kisses until Sakura scrunched up her face and groaned.

“I don’t wanna put my pants back on.”

Sasuke snorted and reached for her clothing, tossing her boyshorts and yoga pants at her.

“If you don’t put those back on Naruto’s going to get an eye full.”

Sakura grumbled but slipped her pants back on. She was always reluctant to put her clothes back on which was fine with Sasuke.

Sakura liked to lounge around, sprawling over him and having as much skin on skin contact as possible.

When her parents were out the other afternoon they had stayed in her bed for hours talking about everything except for the fact that they were both naked.

He wasn’t sure what was keeping them from discussing it. He couldn’t talk to her about it the first night nor the next day when Sakura went to go help her parents prepare their shop to be re-opened the following day. Sasuke slept in the day after and woke up planning to have a conversation before he got anything else done that day.

Sasuke still wasn’t sure what happened after Sakura had opened the door but they both had ended up without their pants and up against the Harunos’ washing machine.

The two of them couldn’t even agree on who had initiated it that time.

Sakura would keep insisting that he was the one always making the first move and he would just shut her up by distracting her with kisses.

He had waited too long to kiss her freely to waste time on things of no import.

“Tuck it away,” Sakura hissed as she patted down her hair. Sasuke complied and tucked himself back into his boxer briefs and pulled his jeans back over his hips. “And open up the shutters. It smells like sex in here.”

“If only there was a reason for that.”

Despite the sarcasm he used he opened up the windows to the treehouse to let the musky scent out.

He didn’t care so much about Naruto finding out about what they were doing but it wasn’t anyone’s business. He liked his privacy and no one sticking their nose where it didn’t belong.

What Sasuke didn’t understand was why Sakura was so quiet about everything.

It made sense to keep everything secret from their parents because then they wouldn’t be left alone again. But Sasuke half expected a phone call within the past few days and for Naruto to be screeching about how no one told him anything.

Sakura was the talkative one of the two and the one he expected to talk to her friends about what happened and if she had he knew he would be hearing about it from either one of the Uzumaki cousins.

But silence was all he got.

He tried to tell himself that it didn’t bother him, that he preferred the secrecy.

He tried. But he was failing.


Sakura tried not to be irritated with the seating arrangements. It wasn’t that she disliked spending time with Naruto but she would have preferred to be cuddling on the other couch with Sasuke instead of sitting upright while Naruto laid his head on her lap.

She tried not to pinch Naruto’s cheek when he took her hand and put it on his head, asking for her to massage his scalp.

He was acting spoiled because while Konoha University’s spring semester didn’t start until almost the last week of January, Suna State started the following week. Naruto was due back to his dorm in two days and he was trying to pack as much quality time with his best friends as possible.

Which meant it cut into Sakura’s alone time with Sasuke.

I’m a bad friend, Sakura chastised herself as she massaged circles against Naruto’s scalp. Her friend had less than thirty-six hours until he would be heading back out of the state and she wouldn’t see him until spring break.

She wouldn’t be able to see Naruto for two months and all she could think about was cuddling up with Sasuke and stealing kisses.

It’s his fault.

Sakura snuck a glance over at Sasuke. He was lounging on the opposite couch under one of the bulky weight crochet blankets his mother was fond of making. He looked so warm and cozy and just so inviting. If Naruto wasn’t there Sasuke would have made space for Sakura under the blanket.

He would probably give me lots of kisses too.

Sakura sighed and shifted in her seat. She was starting to get spoiled by how surprisingly affectionate Sasuke was. Her fantasies about sleeping with Sasuke had always been about the actual act. She had never considered what would happen in the afterglow.

Sasuke Uchiha was a cuddler and she loved every second of it.

“You seem distracted,” Naruto whispered, barely turning his head to look up at her.

Oh, you know. Just thinking about getting dicked down again.

“Just wanted to watch something else.” Sakura shrugged and tried to focus on the comedy that Naruto had picked out for them to watch. It was hard to focus when all she wanted to do was snuggle into Sasuke’s warmth.

“We can just change the movie,” Naruto cheerfully suggested. “I did pick the last two movies anyway.”

“Are you forgetting something?” Sasuke spoke up for the first time since the current movie had started.

It was always amusing watching Naruto’s face shift from confusion to realization and then to panic. It was comical how his face would go from ugly and scrunched up and then his eyes would widen and his jaw would drop dramatically.

“Curfew!” Naruto shouted and scrambled off of the couch. He grabbed his phone off of the coffee table and dashed out of the family room.

Sakura heard him crash against a wall, the result of sliding across the hardwood floors of the Uchiha home in his socks.

“Well that definitely woke your parents up.” Sakura giggled as she cleaned up the mess that Naruto had left behind. If Fugaku came down to check on them she wanted to make sure that nothing was out of order.

When she came back from checking the hall and dumping Naruto’s mug in the sink, she paused in the entryway of the family room. There was no reason for her to sit on the second couch. But there was also no reason for her not to lay out on it when it was empty and available.

She peered over the couch at Sasuke. The light coming off the television screen cast shadows on his face and reflected the movie on his lenses.

“I’m cold,” she muttered, lifting up the blanket he was using and slipping under. Luckily she was petite and fit in the small space next to him.

Without missing a beat, Sasuke had adjusted his body to make more room for her and wrapped the blanket around her. He was so soft with her and it was so confusing.

I’m going to get greedy.

Sakura nuzzled her nose against his collar bone and threw her leg over his hip. Without taking his eyes off of the television screen, Sasuke pulled her leg tighter around him and stroked her lower back.

“Hey.” With a soft voice Sakura caught his attention. She pressed herself tighter against him and pulled his face down to kiss her.

She was distracting him. She knew she was distracting him from asking questions or ruining anything by talking about what they had been up to since New Year’s Eve.

Let me be greedy.

Tracing the contours of Sasuke’s abdominal muscles and the deep cut of his adonis belt, Sakura snuck her fingers down to the button of his jeans and popped them open. She felt his breath hitch and a low groan tumbled out of his mouth into hers when she pulled his cock out of his boxer briefs.

He was always against her or inside of her, never letting her do any of the work. Just because she lacked the experience it didn’t mean she couldn’t at least try to do anything.

He was hot and heavy in her hand but it was the way that Sasuke’s lips pressed into a tight line that had her blushing and heat spreading in her lower stomach.

He was embarrassed but full of too much pride to avert his gaze, to look anywhere else but at her as she pumped her hand over his shaft, tightening her fist on the down stroke.

“Am I doing it right?” Sakura whispered, smiling softly as he grunted an affirmation. “Because I can stop if I’m not.”

“Don’t,” Sasuke’s hips thrusted now that Sakura’s hand was moving faster, “don’t stop.”

Sakura laughed, elated at his reaction. The sound must have made him upset because he shifted so that he was hovering over her, bracing himself on one forearm and then he shoved his other hand down her yoga pants.

Sakura let out a gasp and almost halted her movements when he curled his middle finger, stroking as he pumped away.

“Quiet.”

“You be quiet!” Sakura snapped back, tightening her grip. Sasuke retaliated by slipping another finger inside of her. Sakura bit her lower lip to hold back from crying out.

“Can you even be quiet?” Sasuke teased her, smirking at her as she grinded her hips against his hand.

He always has to one up me…

Sakura narrowed her eyes at him and shoved him away from her.

“What are you━?”

Taking advantage of his confusion, Sakura pushed him back down on the couch and nestled her body between his legs.

“Let’s see who has trouble being quiet now,” she muttered taking his cock in her hand once again and then dragging her tongue from the base and up to the tip. She pressed her tongue flat on the head and then slowly took him into her mouth.

Sakura focused on breathing through her nose, humming contently when she felt Sasuke’s fingers sliding against her scalp and burying into her hair. Experimenting, she sucked in her cheeks tight as she bobbed her head up and down. Sasuke’s grip on her hair tightened and he threw his head back.

He’s kind of cute like this.

“Sa━Saku━”

“Sasuke?”

Sakura stiffened up from her place between Sasuke’s legs. That was the last place she wanted Mr. Uchiha to find her.

“Yeah, dad?”

“Is Sakura still here?” Sakura exhaled a sigh of relief. It sounded like he was calling from the foyer. She removed herself from Sasuke’s crotch and sat back, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. “It’s getting late. She should call her parents if she’s going to be staying over.”

Sakura muffled her giggles with her hands. If Fugaku Uchiha knew what she had just been doing to his son he wouldn’t be too happy with her spending the night under the same roof.

“No, she’s going home now that the movie is finished.”

“Alright,” Fugaku called out. The two of them stayed silent, listening to his footsteps as he made his way back up the stairs.

“We should call it a night.”

“You suck.” Sakura pouted, not happy with the abrupt ending to the evening.

“No,” Sasuke gave her a lopsided grin, “you suck.”

“Oh, shut up.” Sakura glared at him, her cheeks turning hot. His cheeks were still rosy, flushed from their carnal activities, and his cock was still exposed and he still took the opportunity to tease her.

And yet she wasn’t irritated with that. She was enjoying spending time with him like this.

She just didn’t know if they would continue as they were or if things would change when they had to head back to KU for their next semester. And she was too worried about the answer to talk about it.

Let me have this just for a little longer.

Differential Chapter 7

Chapter Seven: A Little Taste

It should have been harder to avoid someone that lived across a driveway. But Sakura was managing to do just that somehow.

Sasuke let her have her space and didn’t approach her about the night in the treehouse. He spent time with his family and even went Christmas shopping with Izumi when she asked for help buying last minute gifts.

He filled his time fixing things around the house and helping his father out with organizing his digital files. He ran errands for his mother and when she sent him over to the Haruno house he would wait around as long as he could to catch a glimpse of Sakura.

Sasuke expected Sakura to open the door half of the time. There was only three people that lived in their home, it really shouldn’t have been that hard to run into her.

He knew that this was a possibility but reality was much worse than just imagining the outcome.


It was the lager. He was drunk.

Sakura was hiding out at Ino’s house for most of the past few days but she had to head back home when Ino’s family packed up to go out of the country. She couldn’t lie and say she was spending time with Ino considering her mother knew they weren’t going to be back until it was time for her and Ino to head back to KU.

Being with Ino was a huge distraction from what had happened. She didn’t want to think about what would happen if Naruto hadn’t made his presence known. As much as she was enjoying herself it was a terrible idea.

Because it was the lager. He was drunk.

But now that she was no longer distracted with all of Ino’s rambling about Sai and how she didn’t know what their relationship would be like when they went back for their spring semester, she couldn’t help but think of that night.

Straddling one of her pillows, Sakura grinded down, angling her crotch so that the pressure was applied directly to her clit.

She had never considered playing with herself that way before. When she touched herself it was usually with her fingers and she would take her time, building up tension before she let herself snap.

With the pillow she grinded at the pace Sasuke had dragged her hips along his length. Sakura pressed herself down more, aching for more. She tugged at the corners on both ends, treating herself more roughly than she normally would have, she pulled the pillow into a sawing motion.

Sakura collapsed on her bed and whined against the mattress.

It wasn’t enough.

It wasn’t the same hardness or Sasuke’s warmth. And the sound of his panting and the feel of his breath against her skin was missed.

He was across the driveway, his bedroom window right across from hers but Sakura was too scared to face him.

Because it had to be the lager and he was drunk.


Sasuke sighed and rumpled his hair. He examined his reflection and clucked his tongue at it.

Mikoto had told him to shave but the scruff on his face wasn’t that bad. It was just a shadow on his jawline and something he was use to during exam periods. It was a disheveled look that someone had once told him that it suited him.

“Yikes!”

Sasuke cringed at the sudden appearance of Shisui.

“That’s not a New Year’s Eve look your mom would approve of.”

“I wasn’t going to leave it.” Sasuke pulled out his electric razor from the medicine cabinet. “See? Shaving.”

“Good. Can’t look like a bum anymore now that there’s going to be guests over.”

“Aren’t you technically a guest?”

“Ouch!” Shisui grasped at his chest in mock pain. “I thought we were like family.”

“You fucking my older brother doesn’t make this your house.”

“You wound me Sasuke.” Shisui tugged at a strand of Sasuke’s hair. “And you need a haircut. What, are you a hippie now?”

“I’ll cut you.”

“Just make sure to do something with it. You look like a shaggy dog.”

Sasuke turned back to look at his reflection once more. He didn’t mind how long his hair had become but Shisui had a point. He wasn’t going to be able to just go out with his hair all disheveled or he wouldn’t hear the end of it from his mother.

She would probably tackle him with a hairbrush and attack his head.

Sighing he gathered his hair in his hands and pulled it away from his face. He turned his head side to side and dropped his hair. No he definitely didn’t like his hair completely out of the way.

Alright. Let’s figure this out.


Sakura just watched her mother as she pulled out all of her nice dresses from her closet.

“No, this is inappropriate.” Mebuki tsked and tossed a mini dress into a pile of rejected outfits.

“I’m sorry but what’s going on?”

“You’re not staying home tonight,” Mebuki informed her, handing her three different sweater dresses. “Pick one of those. You stayed home on Christmas Eve and that was rude. You’re not skipping out on New Year’s Eve with the Uchiha family.”

“But Mama━”

“No ‘But Mama’ from you!” Mebuki glared at her and wagged a finger in front of Sakura’s face. “Get dressed. And put some makeup on. Look nice. It’s a party.”

Sakura groaned and flopped back onto her bed when her mother left her room. She knew the chance of getting out of the annual New Year’s Eve party at the Uchiha residence was going to be difficult. Sakura had already used the “not feeling well” excuse the previous week for Christmas Eve.

If she carried on like this it would become even more obvious that she was avoiding Sasuke.

Her parents  weren’t suspicious that that could possibly be the case but when it was time to head back and she didn’t want to travel back with Sasuke it would be a red flag.

She usually loved being in the same car as him, taking in his smell in an enclosed space. Sometimes when she was waking up after taking a nap, Sakura would catch him singing under his breath.

Were moments like that really worth losing over a little taste?


Every single time Sakura’s dress rode up on her thigh and revealed the skin above her thigh highs, Sasuke went for his drink.

She was at his parents’ party but she was still avoiding him. Every time he entered a room and she happened to be in it, Sakura would find a reason to leave it.

Sasuke refused to acknowledge the fact that it seemed that he was following her around. He took another swig from his red plastic cup, not even concerned if anyone noticed that he was partaking of the adult beverages. They were all too far gone themselves to pay attention to anything he did.

Entering the kitchen, Sakura was the first thing he saw and she was alone. Her eyes widened and she spilled some of her own drink all over the front of her dress.

“Shit!”

Sakura backed away until she reached the pantry door. Reaching behind her she opened it and backed inside, closing the door behind her.

Sasuke sighed and headed toward the pantry. He tried to turn the knob only to feel the weight of it being pulled on the other side.

“The pantry doesn’t lock on the inside,” he explained and yanked the door open. He entered it and closed the door behind him. “You’re avoiding me, Haruno.”

“Oh, hey Sasuke!” Sakura averted her gaze and eyed the door beyond Sasuke’s arm. “Seems like we’ve been missing each other all night, huh? Just came in here to get away from everyone.”

“Then you can hide out in my room,” he interrupted her babbling. “It’s what you always do.”

Sakura bit her lip and shuffled in place. The hem of her dress swished with her movements. Her skin was so pale against the charcoal of her dress and the black of her socks.

“Come on.”

Sasuke grabbed her hand and waited for any signs of resistance. There was a slight tug before Sakura sighed. She adjusted her fingers so that instead of having them squeezed in between his they molded to fit between his.

He led her away from the kitchen, grabbing more beer along the way, and to the stairs to the second level. The sound of the adults laughing in the background assured him that everyone else was busy.

They moved quickly up the stairs, trying to keep out of sight before one of the adults saw them head to his room with something they shouldn’t have.

“You finally cleaned up in here.”

Sasuke locked his bedroom door before joining her further in.

“Here.” Sasuke pulled out a baggy shirt and handed it to Sakura. “Change out of your dress. It’s all covered in beer and stinks.”

He made a show of turning his back on her to give her some privacy.

“Okay, I’m done.”

His shirt fell to mid thigh, much shorter than her dress but still preserved her modesty. It was another reminder of how Sakura had stayed so small, petite, while he had kept growing and growing tall.

The combination of the shirt and her thigh highs was a reminder of how they both had grown in other ways.

Ways that he enjoyed a lot.

He gestured to his bed before taking a seat on the floor. He opened up a beer and passed it on to Sakura. He took a swig of his own, listening to the sounds of Kizashi’s raucous laughter and then some more shouting from Shisui.

“They’re going to regret all of this drinking tomorrow.”

“Do they ever?” Sakura giggled. “They just make some shijimi in miso soup or ochazuke and claim it helps. I still say phö is the best hangover food.”

“Hot tofu soup,” Sasuke countered. “Extra spicy.”

“Ewww!” Sakura nudged his shoulder with her knee. “Why do you have to make everything spicy?”

Sasuke chuckled against the lip of his bottle. He liked when they could joke around and just talk in his room.

But that wasn’t all that he liked.

He liked the way she breathed against his skin and the way she felt in his hands. He liked Sakura’s scent of fabric softener and something fruity on his sheets and his clothes. He loved the way she sounded all out of breath.

And the way she tasted.

Sasuke turned his head, eyeing Sakura’s knee. It was right at eye level. All he had to do was tilt his head a bit and he could press his lips right on━

“What are you doing!?”

Sakura pulled her leg away from him, face flushing red.

“I think you’ve had enough to drink.”

Sakura swiped for Sasuke’s beer but he held it out of reach, setting it down on the floor. He stood up from his seat on the floor and caged Sakura with his arms, sliding his hands on his mattress until she leaned back.

“Since when did I come on to anyone ‘cause I was drunk?”

“Um…”

“We’ve been drinking since I was like, what, sixteen. I would kiss you even if I weren’t drunk.”

Sasuke scooped Sakura up and tossed her lightly, adjusting her body so that she was laying her head on his pillows. He nudged her thighs apart and nestled between her legs.

“But I’m not waiting until I’m sober for that.”

Sasuke expected more resistance. After being avoided for so long he expected the probability of being slapped and screamed at to be high.

But Sakura was molding her lips with his and cupping his neck to pull him closer to her.


“Are you drunk?”

Sakura wished she were just so she wouldn’t feel so anxious. Her first drink of the night was the beer Sasuke gave her. The wine she was trying to drink earlier had spilled all over her when Sasuke surprised her in the kitchen.

All she could do was shake her head no when Sasuke’s fingers brushed against her ribs. He skimmed them along her bra, reaching behind her and unclasping it smoothly.

Huh. Thought that would be harder for him to figure out.

He pulled back to give her room to pull it out from under her borrowed shirt. Sakura flung it onto the floor and Sasuke went back to pressing his body against hers.

Sakura was so caught up in how his tongue rolled against hers and untying the half up do of his that she missed how it was that Sasuke snuck his hand into the waistband of her boyshorts.

“You have to relax, Sakura.”

She let go of the tenseness she had been carrying at the sound of the second syllable of her name hitting the roof of his mouth. The third syllable rolling off his tongue had her spreading her legs open a bit more.

Sakura gasped at the feel of his fingers rubbing along her labia, massaging circles on the folds and spreading them apart. He moved them inward, applying pressure as he stroked.

“Shit.”

Sakura’s face heated up and she turned her face away, swallowing. Sasuke cursing as he slipped a finger inside of her was something she thought only her imagination could conjure up.

A gasp got caught in her throat when Sasuke used his thumb to rub her clit in a circular manner. She grabbed his wrist to hold him still and tightened her thighs around his hand.

“I said you need to relax,” he murmured against her ear before nipping at skin right below it. “You can’t tense up like that when my head’s down there.”

Your head?

Sasuke removed his hand from her hold and tugged the shirt she was wearing over her head and off. Sakura made to cup her breasts to cover up when Sasuke nudged her arms away.

“You don’t touch yourself. I touch you.”

The intensity in his eyes had her slipping her hands away.

“Well,” Sakura squeaked before calming her nerves as much as she could, “then can you at least take your shirt off too?”

Without hesitation, Sasuke pulled away to yank his crew neck sweater over his head. Sakura trailed her eyes down his torso with the movement. She followed the trail of black hair from his navel down to the top button of his jeans.

I died, didn’t I?

Sasuke leaned over her and took a nipple into his mouth.

Yeah, I fucking died.

“Can I?” Sasuke murmured against her sternum in between kisses across her chest. He tugged on her boyshorts to indicate what he had been asking about.

Please.

Sasuke chuckled against one of her breasts and slipped her panties down her thighs. Sakura watched him toss them over his shoulder before he gripped her waist and trailed kisses down her stomach.

Sakura swallowed hard as she felt Sasuke’s hair brushing against her thighs. She could sit and compare how his fingers worked her in a way she couldn’t but she had nothing to compare the sensation of his tongue lapping away at her.

All she knew was that she didn’t want him to stop.

She buried her fingers in his hair and swiveled her hips, grinding against his mouth. It felt too good to be real but then Sasuke sucked her clit between his lips, rolling the little nub between them and flicking his tongue at it.

He slipped his finger back inside her and pumped it in and out before slipping a second one inside. He curled his fingers and spread them to stretch her out. It was a peculiar feeling, not that pleasant but not bad either.

There was a familiar tightening in her lower stomach but Sasuke didn’t leave her hanging. She covered up her mouth with her hands, trapping her cries as she reached her climax.

Sasuke lapped at her core one more time before pulling away, glaring at her from between her thighs.

“They would have heard me!”

“I highly doubt they would have noticed.”

Sasuke stood up and pulled open the drawer on his nightstand. He took out a box and pulled out a foil package. He tossed it near Sakura’s shoulder and then shimmied and pulled his jeans off, treating them as well as he had been treating Sakura’s clothes the whole time.

Sakura sat up and grabbed his wrist before he could pull down his boxer briefs.

“Want to stop?”

“What?” Sakura scrunched up her nose in confusion. “No we’re definitely, you know, I just want to do this part.”

Sasuke smirked at her and she narrowed her eyes at him, not happy with the knowing look he gave her.

Sakura pressed a kiss right above his belly button and tugged his boxer briefs down his hips.

Before she could do anything after freeing him from his undergarments, Sasuke pushed her back down on his bed and grabbed the foil package. He distracted Sakura with some more kisses as he ripped it open and rolled the condom on his cock.

He stroked Sakura’s thigh as he continued to give her open mouthed kisses. Sakura had tensed up again when she felt his cock brushing against her exposed core. She sighed into his mouth, pulling him closer by his shoulders.

To think she had just been dry humping her own pillow when she could have been in his bed, his fingers drawing circles on her flesh.

“Fuck!” Sakura hissed. Sasuke stilled but he trailed kisses down the line of her throat and sucked on her pulse point.

“Relax.” Sasuke drew curlicues on her upper thigh. “I won’t move until you want me to. If you want me to.”

It was comforting and it was sweet but Sakura had been wanting this for so long.

“I’d very much like it if you moved Sasuke.”

Sasuke kissed her hard and swallowed her punched out gasp when he rolled his hips. He didn’t draw back, only making small movements as Sakura grew accustomed to having him inside her.

When Sakura’s kisses became needier and more desperate is when Sasuke finally thrusted fully. He went slow but went deep, swallowing her moans into his mouth.

Sakura could have sworn she heard someone counting down from somewhere far away. Why they would be counting down she couldn’t remember.

She was too busy listening to and feeling Sasuke’s panting against her shoulder. She dragged her nails down his back at a particularly hard thrust and he groaned into the space where her neck and shoulder connected.

Sakura bit down on his shoulder when she came for the second time. She hadn’t meant to bite him but she remembered needing to be quiet and although she had never been loud when she brought herself to her own release she was worried she would be with Sasuke now that she was finally able to reach it after days of struggle.

Sasuke followed after her and collapsed on top of her. They lay like that when it finally hit Sakura.

“Oh. Happy New Year.”

Differential Chapter 6

Chapter Six: Grind

Sakura laid back on her bed, limbs spread out like a starfish and counted the glow in the dark star stickers on her ceiling. She had been home for three days already but almost none of her things were unpacked.

She had carried her things out of her dad’s car and just left everything neatly arranged in a corner of her bedroom. If she needed anything she would just pull it out of a box or her suitcase.

Mebuki had come in earlier and had reprimanded her for not working on putting her things in order. Sakura was supposed to be unpacking her things before her mother came back to check on her again but she couldn’t be bothered to worry about that.

Sakura’s phone rang and she looked at the name on the Caller ID. She rolled her eyes and muted the ringer. As soon as she turned it down there was a scoffing noise from outside her bedroom door.

“Oh, you did not just ignore me!”

“Go away Naruto!” Sakura groaned, covering her face with one of her throw pillows.

“No.”

Naruto opened her bedroom door and leapt onto the empty space of her bed. He scooped her into his arms and pressed his face between her shoulder blades.

“You’re supposed to be consoling me,” came his muffled complaint. “Why do you and Sasuke always do this? Give me attention!”

Sakura moaned in discomfort and struggled to get away but Naruto’s hold on her remained tight.

“You’re like an octopus.”

“Stop being mean to me I’m sad.”

“It’s your own fault.”

Naruto gasped and squeezed her tighter in retaliation.

“Take it back.”

“I won’t,” she groaned, resuming her struggling to get away. “It’s your fault. We told you you would get dumped one day.”

Naruto gasped again and released her.

“Why are you guys so mean to me today? You’re supposed to be the nice one.”

“I take it that you already bothered Sasuke today.”

“He said Gaara was lucky to be rid of me and then he kicked me out of his house.”

“Did you ask him for pity sex again? If he hangs you out of the tree house by your feet like last time I won’t save you.”

“It was a joke! I’m never serious about that. I don’t need pity sex I can get laid just fine thank you.”

“Isn’t that why Gaara dumped you?”

“Why are you being a bitch to me? Is Sasuke not doing you right?”

Sakura sat up and grabbed one of her pillows and started smacking him with it over and over again.

“Stop being such a pervert!” She smacked him on his head but Naruto shielded it with his arms. “Nothing is going on with me and Sasuke!”

Still? God you guys are slow. I was so sure it would have happened before the holidays.”

Naruto sat up and stretched his arms over his head. Sakura noticed he was wearing his own Suna State hoodie for a change.

Gaara must have asked for his back. He was serious this time.

“How was your first semester of college?” Sakura asked deciding to humor him.

“It was fine but I wish you smarty pants didn’t go off to a school I couldn’t get into.” Naruto pouted. “It was already bad that Sasuke was a grade higher and then you went off and abandoned me by skipping a whole grade.”

“You should have studied more. It’s not our fault you didn’t do well in school.”

Naruto grumbled incoherently and dropped to the ground in front of her bed. He leaned his head back and grinned at her mischievously.

“So you and Sasuke really haven’t fu━”

Sakura slammed her pillow over his face.


With Naruto’s help she was finally able to put away all of her stuff from college. Sakura just had to listen to him mope about the state of his love life.

At least you had a boyfriend, Sakura grumbled inwardly.

It confused Sakura how Naruto so easily found people willing to date or hook up with him. Even Ino had taken a stab at him to figure out what the hype was all about.

“It was terrible,” was all she had to say about it. Karin had been so disgusted she refused to join their group chats for two weeks.

Sakura looked Naruto over as he continued to whine as he stuffed her socks into their designated drawer. He wasn’t what she would call good looking, average looks on a good day but she supposed he had a certain charm about him considering he was happy-go-lucky and ready to be friends with everyone.

Which was something Sakura had struggled with for most of her life.

Sakura’s first friend was Sasuke but that was more because his mother babysat her as her parents were always busy at work and Mikoto worked out of a studio in the Uchiha house.

Her friendship with Naruto soon followed because his mother was Mikoto’s best friend. Kushina and her bonded at Lamaze classes and they were thick as thieves ever since.

Even though she and Naruto were registered into class a year after Sasuke due to the cut off date, the three of them still hung out after school after Mikoto picked them up.

“She would probably make more friends if she wasn’t so weird and had to leave for her special classes all of the time,” Naruto had informed Sasuke once when they were ten and he had moved on to middle school. “Karin is like the only girl that gets along with her but she lives all the way in Kusa.”

Karin, being Naruto’s cousin, visited often during the holidays and summer breaks. She originally trailed after her cousin and Sasuke due to a crush on the latter but one day she sat next to Sakura who had been making a wreath out of grass and dandelions by the side of the Uchiha’s pool and declared, “You look funny. I like that. You’re my friend now.”

It wasn’t until the seventh grade that Sakura’s social life had changed.

Her parents went to a meeting with her guidance counselor and a week after that Sakura had been promoted one grade higher and entered the eighth grade. Due to an issue with her already taking courses in the grade above her and that she would have to take online courses the following year away from her peers, Kizashi thought it best she just move along up instead of having to be separated from the other students like she had been in elementary school.

And so Sakura bypassed seventh grade and found herself sitting in homeroom right next to Ino Yamanaka.

“Oh, no. No no no,” Ino had tsked, grabbing Sakura’s hand. She pulled out a purple makeup bag from her backpack and pulled out a file and seafoam green nail polish. “Don’t worry this is definitely your color.”

Sakura just sat there, shell-shocked, and let the blonde girl give her a manicure in the middle of homeroom. Thirty minutes after that she was getting her hair french braided and they were both getting scolded by their teacher about how they were supposed to use homeroom to study not to “play salon.”

Ino became her best friend from then on. She dragged Sakura to any outings and made her break out of her shell.

As much as she could.

Sakura was getting along with Ino and her friends and at last having a life but there was one thing Ino couldn’t help with and that was her love life.


“He’s not my problem.”

Sasuke crossed his arms in front of his chest and raised his eyebrow at Sakura’s stance. She mirrored his actions and crossed her arms in front of her chest, glaring up at him.

“He’s your best friend.”

“Says him.”

“Come on.”

“He felt me up last time we let him drink.”

“He felt me up too so quit complaining.”

“Are you guys making out in there?” Naruto’s question came muffled through Sasuke’s door.

Sasuke scowled at the door before turning his attention back to Sakura. It had been a while since the last time they were in the same room together and the only reason she was in his room now was because their moron best friend got dumped by his quiet boyfriend for the hyperactive kid that used to follow Sakura around until he realized he batted for the other team.

Sasuke found it ironic that Naruto had slept with Lee’s boyfriend back when they were in high school and then Lee was the one that Gaara left him for.

Their friend was a mess.

“Not in my room. There’s too much in here he can mess with.”

Sakura looked around his room and then scowled at him. He had boxes of wires and circuit boards just all over the place and falling all over the floor.

“We’re cleaning your room later.” She narrowed her eyes at him. “It’s a safety hazard in here.”

“Leave my shit alone Haruno.”

“We’ll camp out in the treehouse.”

“Oh ‘cause that’s not a safety hazard.”

“Bite me Uchiha,” Sakura bit out before yanking his door open and storming out, dragging Naruto by the collar of his shirt.

Sasuke sighed and closed his door, locking it. He straightened up some boxes so that none of the sharper items were on the floor anymore. After they were put away he straightened out his sheets and his pillows.

He searched blindly with his hand under his pillow and yanked on the strap of the object he had stuffed under there earlier that morning.

I should clean in here before she tries to do it. Or worse, my mother.

Sasuke opened up one of the drawers on his dresser and stuffed the bra under his boxers.

He was going to have to return it eventually.


“I didn’t know it was his boyfriend,” Naruto slurred. “I was drunk, face down into the mattress most of the time, how was I supposed to know who it was.”

“Naruto, you’re supposed to practice safe sex,” Sakura scolded him. “Try and make better choices. You are being safe, right?”

“Yeah, mom,” Naruto slurred some more, slumping over so that he was resting his full weight on her. They were only a few drinks in and he was already threatening to pass out on them.

“Aren’t you at all disturbed by how much of his sex life we know about?” Sasuke took a long swig of one of the Hurricanes and grimaced. “I sure as fuck am.”

“I’m friends with Karin and Ino and neither one of them have a filter.” Sakura snatched the bottle from him. “You get used to it.”

Sakura tilted her head back and downed the remaining liquid in the bottle. Sasuke watched her neck as she swallowed. He averted his gaze and turned his attention to the space heaters.

The tree house was barely four feet off the ground and was more of a shed that happened to fit around the tree between the Uchiha and Haruno property. Sasuke had always wanted a treehouse but the only proper tree to build one on straddled the property line.

He lucked out and Sakura had wanted one too so Kizashi used a couple of free weekends to construct the treehouse. When they got older and Sasuke started tinkering around with stuff, Fugaku bought them a generator so that they could have some more modern comforts while outside.

“God he’s so sloppy.”

Sasuke turned back around and caught Sakura adjusting Naruto’s body so that he was resting on one of the mattresses and covered him with a comforter.

“He was the one that wanted to hang out and he passes out first, as usual. Why bother?”

“He just didn’t want to be alone.” Sasuke finished adjusting the heater and grabbed one of the other blankets and another forty ounce before sitting back on the other mattress. “He was going to drink anyway so better he did it with us then alone where he would get into trouble.”

“True.”

Sakura stretched her arms over her head, realigning her back, before settling down next to Sasuke on the second mattress.

Sasuke felt her rest her head against his arm and curl up next to his body. She was always cold and attempting to steal his or Naruto’s body heat.

He wrapped his arm around her and scooped her up to move her between his legs. Sakura squirmed for a moment before finally settling when she realized how much warmer it was trapped against him and the blanket.

“Better?” Sasuke asked, dropping his head into the crook of her neck. He sighed against her skin. She still smelled like something fruity and fabric softener but there was a hint of lager.

Sakura shivered against him, when he exhaled again.

“Still cold?”

Sasuke wrapped his arms around her torso, pulling her closer to him.

“Is this warmer?” He asked, lips brushing against her neck.

“Uh, yeah…” Sakura answered. She hadn’t sounded so meek since they were in primary school.

“Why are you always so cold?”

Sasuke brushed his nose up her neck and pressed a soft kiss under her ear.

“Your hands are freezing,” Sasuke murmured, taking one in his own.

“Actually, women tend to have a higher core temperature than men do while their extremities are colder. I only feel colder to you because of your extremities, like your hands are slightly warmer than mine. On average it’s only a difference of about three degrees━”

“God, you’re such a nerd.” Sasuke chuckled right next to her ear and she shivered again. “Aren’t you drunk right now?”

Sasuke pressed another kiss, on her jaw this time. Sakura had a habit of babbling when nervous.

Sakura swallowed, and he felt the movement as his continued to press kisses down the line of her throat.

“Buzzed. You?”

“Buzzed,” Sasuke responded. “Maybe slightly more than buzzed.”

“Then, uh, maybe we should━ah!

Sasuke sucked on Sakura’s pulse point and snuck a hand under her sweater. He stroked her stomach, careful not to tug on her belly ring.

“Hey.”

Sakura turned her head to look up at him and Sasuke pressed his lips against hers, softly at first, patient until Sakura parted her lips against his. Her movements were clumsy but she was soft, so soft.

“My neck,” Sakura murmured against his mouth.

Sasuke pulled away but quickly turned her around to face him, lifting her up from under her thighs and pulling her into his lap.

“Better?” He breathed the question against her mouth before parting her lips again.

He slipped his tongue inside her mouth and Sakura made a sound of surprise in the back of her throat. He rolled his tongue along hers and he tasted the lager they had been drinking.

Sasuke slid his hands up her thighs to her waist and dipped her lower, pressing her against his groin. He rolled his hips against hers and felt her hesitantly swivel her hips in slow circles.

“Like this,” he panted. He guided her with his hands until Sakura gasped out. Sasuke had angled her so that she was rubbing her clit against his hardening cock.

Oh!” Sakura cried out, pressing herself harder against him. She rest her forehead on his and they panted in each other’s faces as they synchronized their grinding. “Sa-Sasuke! That feels━”

A loud snore interrupted her and halted their movements. Sakura’s eyes widened and her jaw dropped in horror.

“Wait, Sakura don’t━!”

Sakura fell backwards and crawled away.

“I-I gotta go.”

Sasuke adjusted himself and made to chase after her when a loud, grating snore caught his attention. Naruto was all askew on the mattress, mouth gaping open.

He headed back out the door but Sakura was nowhere to be seen in the backyard. He leaned back on the doorway and slid down to the floor.

“Some friend you are,” Sasuke grumbled, throwing one of the cushions at Naruto’s face.

Differential Chapter 5

Chapter Five: Matcha Tea and Polka Dots

There was always this haziness when he woke up. He would be bleary eyed and the world would stay out of focus.

Upon waking up his vision was flooded with blurs of pink and dark gray.

He scrunched his eyes shut as they hurt when he tried to see without his glasses for too long. He ran his right hand down his face and sighed at the numb sensation of his left arm.

The dorm bed was barely big enough for him so the inclusion of another body had him and Sakura practically on top of each other.

Sakura sighed in her sleep, her breath puffing out onto his neck, causing a tingle to run down his spine.

Great. That was just what he needed.

Sasuke rolled so that he could twist his body away from Sakura, keep her away from parts of himself that were aching. With a sigh he tucked himself into the waistband of his boxer briefs and flannel pajama bottoms. Luckily Sakura hadn’t woken up because he was poking her.

Sasuke peered through his lashes, squinting his eyes to see the sleeping girl.

Such a silly, annoying girl.

Sakura was so defenseless and it irritated him to no end. It was like he didn’t register in her mind as someone that could potentially have any sexual interest in her.

It was a Saturday but it was still strange for Sakura to still be sleeping. She hadn’t been joking when she said she had only taken a nap within the past few days. Sasuke wouldn’t have minded letting her sleep but his arm was numb and her warmth and the subtle fruity scent wafting from her hair was getting to be too much for him.

Nap time when they were five was nothing like this.

Just like when he was five and Sakura squirmed too close to him, he took her nose between the knuckles of his index and middle fingers and squeezed. A second later Sakura was awake and gasping for air, arms flailing.

“Really Sasuke? Really?”

Sakura had scooted closer to the wall and he was able to pull his arm out from under her. Finally free, Sasuke climbed out of bed and grabbed his glasses from his desk.

“My shower caddy.” Sasuke pulled out his blue plastic bin from the bottom of his tiny wardrobe and dumped it on his bed. “If you want to wash up.”

Without waiting for a response to the offer, Sasuke shuffled out of his room and to the dorm kitchenette. He started the electric kettle and placed a saucepan on the stovetop. Grabbing his almond milk from the fridge he shared with his roommates he set it to boil while he rummaged the cabinets for his matcha powder.

As soon as he heard the water begin to simmer he turned off the kettle. Matcha being his favorite type of tea he had worked out how long water needed to heat up in his electric kettle in order for it to be the appropriate temperature.

Taking out his only two mugs he dropped a teaspoon of matcha each and measured out about two ounces of hot water onto the powder. Turning off the stovetop he carefully poured the milk into the mugs of matcha.

Rummaging through the cabinets he grabbed the bear shaped bottle of honey he knew belonged to one of his roommates and squirted out a dollop into one of the mugs.

“You know,” Sakura shuffled into the kitchen area, “if you’re going to offer a chance for a shower, you should also give someone a towel.”

“Here.” Sasuke finished whisking both of the teas and handed her the sweeter one of the two.

“What? No coffee?” Sakura mused as she gingerly grabbed the hot mug, covering her hands with the long sleeves. “What kind of college student are you?”

“You don’t like coffee.”

“True.” Sakura sighed after taking a sip of warm tea. “But just like the towel, you should have coffee too. It’s like you never have girls over.”

Sasuke narrowed his eyes at her. Sakura was looking up at him expectantly over the brim of her mug.

How was he supposed to take that comment? Was she actually curious about his sex life?

I’m not acknowledging that.

Sasuke shuffled past her and went straight back to work on the broken laptops he had to get done before winter break.

He had completed most of the work during the night when he tried to avoid his bedroom.

Sasuke didn’t plan on joining Sakura in bed. His original plan was to use his roommate’s bunk but the man was unpredictable yet again and had decided to use his own bed that night.

And although the dorm beds were uncomfortable even with the mattress topper, the living room couch was worse.

Sasuke wasn’t going to hurt his back sleeping on that couch.

He had climbed into bed, too tired to consider any consequence of sharing the same bed. What did it matter? They were childhood friends that had shared their beds multiple times.

The fact that they had stopped sharing sleeping space when puberty hit them was besides the point.

Why am I thinking so much about that?

Sasuke peered at Sakura, who hopped on to the counter, from his peripheral.

It’s not like she cares.


Sakura should have gotten dressed and left when she woke up. It was already going to be embarrassing to make her way out of the dorm and sign out at the front desk.  Walking over to her own dorm wasn’t going to be too bad.

But there was no way Ino was going to believe that she was in the library all night and then wandered around campus in the early hours of the morning. It didn’t help that it was now the afternoon. Ino was sure to be freaking out.

But…she kind of didn’t want to leave so soon.

Sakura was so tired that when she had woken up earlier that morning that despite her shock she hadn’t noticed that Sasuke had crawled into bed without a shirt.

It was probably a good thing that she didn’t or she would have probably had difficulty going back to sleep and would have just stared at him and freaked out that he was pressing her against his bare chest.

Sakura peered over the brim of her mug, watching as Sasuke’s muscles rippled as he moved.

He’s got such nice shoulders.

When Sasuke leaned across the table to reach something his tricep tightened. Sakura watched in fascination as he moved. Every part flexing and dimpling.

I will leave after I finish my tea.

Sasuke twisted his body, his back now facing her and the contours of his body more pronounced with the stretching of his already well defined body.

I’ll just…drink my tea really slowly…

Sakura was slowly drifting off into a fantasy that involved the dorm sectional couch when the door to Sasuke’s room creaked. Heat crawled up her neck and her cheeks. She forgot that they weren’t alone!

A boy taller than Sasuke with sleek hair falling into his eyes and wearing a shirt that read “KU Science Dept.” shuffled toward her, holding her phone in his hand.

“A pig has been calling,” he muttered.

“Ino!” Sakura leaped off of the counter and dashed into their room.

Barely remembering to shut the door behind her, she shimmied out of the baggy shorts and pulled on her jeans. Tripping where she stood, she pulled on her shearling wool boots and pulled her pea coat on.

“Thanks!” she snatched her phone from Sasuke’s roommate as she wrapped her scarf around her neck and ran out of the dorm, not without fumbling with the lock at first.

“I would have stayed at the lab if I knew you had your girlfriend over.” Sasuke’s roommate gathered his hair and pulled it into a topknot. “She was your girlfriend, right?”

“Don’t worry about it Shino.”

Shino shrugged and shuffled back to their room.

“Uh, Uchiha?”

“What?” Sasuke called back, slightly confused that Shino was still up for more conversation. His roommate was always missing and almost never talked.

“Your girlfriend left her clothes here.”

Sasuke sighed and leaned back into the couch. Sakura was such a mess.

“She ran out without something sort of important.”

Shino shuffled back into the living room and using his index finger as a hook he held out Sakura’s polka dot print brassiere. Sasuke ran his hand down his face and took it off Shino’s hands.

Annoying, annoying girl.


“I’m home!”

Sakura shut the door behind her with her foot and placed the drink tray and box of doughnuts on the communal area table.

She had used the last of her battery life to call Ino who had started yelling at her as soon as she answered the phone.

Ino demanded that Sakura bring coffee and doughnuts to make up for the heart attack she gave her when she woke up and Sakura was nowhere to be found. Ino had complained about Karin having stumbled into the room and screaming when she tried to snuggle with Sakura only for the bed to be empty.

“I was about to call campus security!”

Sakura cringed, remembering how loud Ino had been. She unbuttoned her pea coat to hang it on the hook.

She almost made it all the way to the doughnut shop before she realized that she had forgotten her bra. She was just glad she wasn’t as busty as Ino was and could hide the lack of support with her coat and how baggy the sweatshirt she had borrowed from Sasuke was.

Her bedroom door opened with a bang and she prepared for Ino to start shouting at her in reprimand again.

“You stupid, stupid━whose shirt is that?”

Ino almost gave Sakura whiplash with how fast her mood had switched.

“You were out getting laid while I was having a heart attack!?”

And she was back to being loud and angry.

“I wasn’t getting la-laid,” Sakura stumbled around the word, face heating up from embarrassment. “I was with Sasuke. See?”

Sakura turned around and showed her where “Uchiha” was brazenly displayed across the shoulders. A lot of Sasuke’s sleepwear was made up of old practice shirts from sports teams he had been on.

“Even more reason to think you were out getting laid,” a voice called out from their bedroom.

A clearly hungover Karin shuffled out of the room Ino and Sakura shared with Sakura’s quilt wrapped around her shoulders. She grabbed a cup of coffee and collapsed backwards on the couch.

“You’re back,” Sakura attempted to change the topic.

“Yeah. I ditched Sui for this super cute bartender but she was the responsible type that brought me back to the dorm and will you stay on topic? What happened to you?”

“Nothing happened to me. Did you get her number anyway?”

“I think I did but it might be fake. The receipt it’s on says Tenten’s her name. What kind of name is Tenten?”

“It’s Japanese just like yours.”

“Okay, but who names their kid━”

“Hello?” Ino snapped her fingers in front of their faces. “Can we stay focus on the fact that Sakura apparently spent the night with fucking Sasuke?”

“She has a point.” Karin sat up more alert than before. “So how big is it? I’ve been wanting to know since we were fifteen so out with it.”

“Really? Fifteen?” Ino wrinkled her nose in disgust.

“I didn’t sleep with Sasuke!” Sakura covered her face with her hands and asked herself why was she friends with them. “Nothing happened. He just let me sleep there because Ino kicked me out so she could fuck Sai.”

“Well,” Ino crossed her arms and nodded to herself, “it’s some progress. You actually hung out with him instead of doing that weird eye fucking thing you do.”

“Oh, right. That eye fucking thing.” Karin nodded with her.

What? What eye━you know what? I’m not having this conversation.”

Sakura grabbed a doughnut from the box and stormed out of the communal area.

She was fed up with having that conversation with those two. She spent a night with Sasuke. A whole night. And nothing happened.

Nothing was ever going to happen.

Differential Chapter 4

Chapter Four: Sleeping Arrangements

The last place she expected to see Sasuke was in the library.

It was stupid really considering they both attended the same university and would both need to show up in the library at some point in the semester if not multiple times.

She just hadn’t expected to see him in the stacks at one in the morning.

She knew he was a night owl but she also knew he preferred the quiet of his room away from the rest of the world.

Away from her.

Sakura shuffled past him, pressing her notebook against her chest as if it would will the beating of her heart to quiet. Maybe he wouldn’t notice that she was there.

She could just hear Karin berating her for the missed opportunity.

There was something about the isolation of the stacks at this hour at night that made Sakura’s imagination run wild. And she had always had a rather vivid imagination.

How good the Sasuke of her imagination looked, with his eyebrows drawn down in frustration and glasses slipping down the bridge of his nose. One hand covering his mouth to stifle his moans and the other buried in her hair as she took him in her mouth.

Sakura swallowed hard and rest her forehead against a row of books. Why did it have to be Sasuke that she thought about?

Sakura peered through the gap of space between the books and the next shelf up.

Sasuke was in the middle of turning a page of the book he had just pulled down. Sakura watched in fascination at the gentle cradle of the book. At the way his strong hands spread to hold the book comfortable, the muscles and veins clearly defined in the act.

We’re not here for that, she chided herself.

Sakura had planned to be asleep but Ino had invited the boy from Konoha Institute College of Art and so she escaped the dorm. Not even hiding out in the communal area of the suite was far away enough from the sounds being emitted.

If Karin’s roommate wasn’t so vile she would have taken the empty bed. Karin didn’t need it because she was out “tutoring” one of the KU swimmers for the past 3 days with no return. Even when she was in their dorm she didn’t sleep in her bed choosing to cuddle with either Ino or Sakura.

Anything to get away from her roommate.

Sakura would have complained earlier about the evening arrangements but she knew exactly what would happen.

Ino would just taunt her about her single status and how she would loosen up a little if she would only just go and get laid every once in a while. She would then bring it up to Karin later who would remind Sakura that she didn’t need a boyfriend in order to have sex.

But it wasn’t as if she were waiting to be in a relationship. Sakura had just ruined it for herself by building up all of her sexual fantasies surrounding a specific individual.

Sure she could go and experience it all in reality but none of it would ever top the daydream she was currently having of her neighbor using the same hand to hold his book to clamp over her mouth as she braced herself against the bookshelves and he panted in her ear.

“Fuck.”

Sakura clamped her hand over mouth. The word had slipped out and sounded breathier than she would have liked. She was at a dead end and had nowhere to hide, so when the sound of approaching footsteps got closer she hid her face in a book.

The clearing of a throat had her sliding the book down so she could peer over it.

Sasuke towered over her, arms crossed in front of his chest and frowning down at her through his glasses, an eyebrow raised.

Am I about to be punished?

The errant thought passed through her mind before she could reign it back.

God there’s something wrong with me.

“Why would you need a book on optoelectronics?”

“Opto-what?” Sakura frowned and took a better look at the book she had grabbed. She really grabbed a book irrelevant to what she was researching. She had been so distracted that she had walked into the wrong row.

“I don’t,” Sakura mumbled, sliding the book back in its place.

“When was the last time you slept?”

“Huh?” Sakura blinked up at him. Sleep?

The end of the semester was approaching. On top of papers that were due, Sakura had exams to study for and she was the person that always overloaded her credits.

“I took a two hour nap on Thursday?”

“Go back to your dorm.”

Sakura snapped out of her daze at the order. It was said out of interest for her health but she couldn’t get over the bossy tone Sasuke used. How typical of him to tell her to do something he wouldn’t do himself.

“You go back to your dorm,” Sakura snarked back. She turned on her heel and walked into the proper section.

“How did you mistake a book for a microform?” Sasuke had followed her, ignoring the fact that she gave him attitude.

“I’m just a little tired.” Sakura refused to look at him, cheeks flushing with heat. She was more than a little tired. Which probably explained why it was so easy for her mind to drift off.

“Then go to sleep.”

“I can’t sleep on that couch.”

“Why would you be sleeping on the couch?”

“Ino,” Sakura replied with a sheepish grin. “She has a guest.”

Sasuke didn’t look very amused by her reason. He stared down at her long enough to make her uncomfortable. Sakura shifted her gaze away from him but she could still feel his eyes on her.

“Let’s go.”

Sakura almost dropped the envelope of microfiches she was absentmindedly rifling through. She wasn’t even completely sure what it was that she originally entered the stacks for.

“Go? Go where?”

Sasuke rolled his eyes and wrapped his fingers around her wrist. Sakura’s eyes widened and she bit down on her lower lip.

It was a bad time to remember how much larger he was than her. His hand completely wrapped itself around her wrist.

He hadn’t always been so much taller than she was. Or his fingers so much larger. She recalled being thirteen and pressing her palm right up against his and comparing their sizes. They were always a perfect match but that year his fingers were marginally bigger, the tiniest sliver of flesh peeking around her slim fingers.

“To my dorm. So you can sleep.”

Tugging on her wrist, he gently led her past all of the rows and and up the few steps to the first floor of the library. Instead of dropping her wrist, he continued to lead her out into the crisp winter air.

There was nothing rough about how he held her but it remained firm and sure.

Like it always was.


“There’s nothing to cry about.”

Sakura sniffled, glaring through the tears welling up on her lower lash line. She could barely make out Sasuke’s blurry form.

With the force he used to yank on his hoodie sleeves he almost dragged Sakura towards him when he tied them around her waist. Sakura continued to sniffle as he made sure his sweater was secure and wouldn’t fall from around her slim hips.

Sakura was twelve and her menstrual cycle was unpredictable. Her mother had warned her about wearing white shorts but Ino had wanted to wear matching outfits for their field trip.

“I-I’m going to b-bleed on your hoodie,” her words came out a blubbering mess. She wiped at her eyes with the heels of her palms.

“It’s just clothes.” Sasuke took hold of her wrist and tugged her forward, away from her hiding spot in the dark corner of the planetarium. “Let’s go find Yamanaka. She should have found you a pad by now.”

Ignoring the wolf whistles of a few of their classmates and their jeering, he held onto her wrist in a gentle but firm hold. He guided her through the museum until he heard Ino’s shouting and calls for Sakura.

He walked with them to the restroom, never letting go until Ino took her inside.


Sakura closed the bathroom door behind her and peered into Sasuke’s room. He had handed her a change of clothes and directed her to the restroom where she could have some privacy as he cleared up space on his bed.

His half of his room was neat and in order and overall plain, completely different from the cluttered knick knacks she used to decorate the dorm room she shared with Ino. But then again Sasuke had taken over the communal area of his apartment style dorm.

“Fixing computers and laptops again?”

Sasuke was sitting on the edge of the couch, a laptop with it’s system board exposed on the coffee table. He was surrounded by different computer parts and a couple of laptops and system units with sticky notes on them.

“People are constantly breaking them and it costs a shit ton to get them fixed. For a small fee I can take a look and see what needs fixing and take care of it. I need the cash and they don’t need to waste their time getting ripped off.”

“These things make me feel like an idiot.” Sakura took a seat next to him and lifted up a circular disk. “What does this do?”

“It’s a cooling fan. It was working harder than it needed to.” Sasuke took the fan from her and clicked it into place. “The heatsink needed cleaning. If they took it into a repair shop they would have made them pay to replace the whole thing instead of just cleaning it out.”

“Heatsink?”

“Yeah. People don’t realize you gotta clean that out and then their laptop will overheat and shut down on them.”

Sakura watched as he screwed the cooling fan back in place and covered the motherboard up and screw everything shut.

“You’re supposed to be sleeping.”

Aren’t you supposed to be sleeping with me?

Sakura stood up abruptly, face burning from the embarrassment. Her brain really needed to stop producing all of those inappropriate thoughts.

“Um, but where are you going to sleep?”

“I won’t be. I have work to get done. And if I get tired I can always use my roommates bed. Not like he uses it.”

“Oh. Well, then. Good night!” Sakura awkwardly shuffled into his room and climbed onto his bed. She had a step stool to assist in climbing on her own bed but Sasuke was over half a foot taller than she was and had nothing like that.

She had to pull herself up and practically rolled the rest of the way on. Kicking the sheets around her she bundled herself up. It wasn’t until she pulled the blankets up to her chin that she noticed the crocheted throw Mikoto Uchiha had made for her son.

Warm…

Sakura buried her face into the sheets, the comforting smell of the familiar fabric softener the Uchiha family used relaxing her. It was the smell of Sasuke. The smell of home.


When Karin crawled into her bed she always dug her nose between Sakura’s shoulder blades. Sakura would whine when her bony knees pressed too hard against her legs but with some shuffling she could always adjust Karin’s hold on her.

That was usually the case except the arm around her waist was too muscular to be Karin’s thin arm and there was a pressure on top of her head instead of in between her shoulder blades.

Blinking open her eyes, Sakura was met with a blank wall instead of the blinds of her window.

This isn’t my bed!

Sakura squeezed her eyes shut tight and gathered her memories of the night before. She had been kicked out of her room by Ino and the guy from KICA. She went to the library where she ran into Sasuke. Where she ran into Sasuke!

Sakura exhaled a breath of relief as she recalled Sasuke dragging her back to his dorm so that she could finally get some sleep. She must have been more tired than she had thought if she hadn’t noticed Sasuke sneaking into his own bed.

Carefully, Sakura rolled onto her back and shifted so she could face him. There was a small grumble, a whine from the back of Sasuke’s throat but he didn’t open his eyes. He only relaxed his hold to give her more room to move.

Shit.

Sakura watched as Sasuke’s eyelashes fluttered delicately. The lashes on the lower line were slightly longer than the upper and they meshed together at the outer corners. Her eyes followed the path of his cheekbones to his well defined jaw. He really needed a shave.

Ew. Sakura wrinkled her nose and bit back a giggle. Morning breath.

A gurgle broke the even pattern of Sasuke’s breathing and his hand clutched the back of the shirt Sakura borrowed. Sakura let herself be pulled closer and Sasuke’s leg slid between her thighs. Sasuke settled his chin on top of her head again and his breathing returned to it’s normal steady pace, a content sigh falling from his lips.

Ah, crap.

Sakura sighed and pressed her face against Sasuke’s chest.

It was no use avoiding the reason why she couldn’t do what Karin had suggested to her and why Ino’s comments about denial bothered her so much.

But for now all she was going to do was sleep.